Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, driving the Mercedes, have dominated the ongoing Formula One season. Apart from the Malaysian Grand Prix, where Sebastian Vettel, in a Ferrari, emerged victorious, the other six races have seen either Rosberg or Hamilton crossing the chequered flag first.
Hence, Mercedes will expect the same when these drivers set their foot on the accelerator in the Austrian Grand Prix with the free practice sessions starting on Friday at the Red Bull Ring.
Vettel turned up with a decent performance in the Canadian Grand Prix, where he finished in 5th position and his teammate, Kimi Raikkonen was also good finishing in fourth place.
Ferrari will be the team most likely to challenge the Mercedes duo at the Austrian Grand Prix. Talking about the competition, Vettel feels that they have a good car and a good package and if everything falls into place, they can come with a good result.
"I think ideally we always try to fight for the win. I know that we have a strong package this year, a strong car, so if everything goes normal then we should be a little bit further up again, especially on Saturday this weekend. In general, looking forward to the weekend. It's a great place, a great venue. I think all of us really enjoy coming here," F1 official website quoted Vettel as saying.
But, Vettel is also aware of Mercedes and their drivers, Hamilton and Rosberg, who lead the drivers' championship with 151 and 134 points respectively. If Mercedes come up with a perfect race, no one can defeat them.
Vettel hopes Mercedes struggle in the Austrian GP and Ferrari comes up with a perfect race.
"But we also have to be realistic [in] challenging the Mercedes. We know that first of all we need to have a flawless weekend, a perfect weekend and maybe hoping for them to have a little bit of a struggle. But in normal circumstances it is quite difficult to beat them as they are still the favourites going in and there is still quite a big gap,"added Vettel.
Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg, who had a good race in the Canadian Grand Prix, and was amongst the points, must be high on confidence as he also won the Le Mans 24-hour race. Force India might not be in the top half of the constructors' championship, but they have 21 points in their bag, same as that of Sauber.
Hulkenberg feels that things are slowly getting better.
"Recently we've made good progress, we had a car in the points four of the last five grands prix, so we see signs that it is getting better," said Hulkenberg.
Where to Watch Live
First Practice Session (Friday): 1:30pm IST (9am BST, 4am ET)
Second Practice Session (Friday): 5:30pm IST (1pm BST, 8am ET)
Final Practice Session (Saturday): 2:30pm IST (10am BST, 5am ET)
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