• Chinese GP - FP2

Mercedes still clear favourites - Vettel

ESPN Staff
April 18, 2014 « Rosberg still expecting straight Mercedes duel | Ricciardo is Mercedes' only challenger - Button »
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Sebastian Vettel suspects Mercedes will still be the clear favourite at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, despite a closer fought practice session on Friday.

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of the second session, but is not expecting Mercedes to have the level of dominance it has experienced at the first three races. However, after spending time following the Mercedes on track, Vettel is not convinced they have lost any of their advantage.

"Maybe they didn't run full beans today," he said. "They are still the favourites and still quite far away and I was behind the Mercedes on the long run and it looked like they could do what they want. But it depends what tyres you have on the car and what time you go out. Nevertheless, for us it was a good day but we are not yet on the level of the Mercedes."

Renault was hoping to bring improvements to its power units this weekend, but Vettel said the changes had been minimal.

"It's mostly stuff in the background, it's not as if we gained power. We'd love to, but that's not really possible. We are tuning the bits that we have and that feeds the feeling a lot and that's where we need to do some work."

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