Sebastian Vettel says he was impressed that Ferrari could challenge Mercedes so closely during the Chinese Grand Prix.
Vettel finished third behind the two Mercedes team-mate to secure his third podium finish in as many races in 2015.
The Ferrari racer kept in touch with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg early in the race, and attempted an aggressive undercut strategy to try and jump the latter at the opening round of stops.
While he faded after switching to the medium tyres at his final stop, Vettel says he is pleased with the progress Ferrari made in Shanghai.
“I think it was very close, especially the first pitstop,” he said. “I didn’t expect it to maybe be that close, so maybe I should have pushed a bit harder on the out-lap.
“It’s tricky here because you always try to look after the tyres but all-in-all I think it was a very good race for us. We were really able to put again some pressure on them, especially in the beginning of the race.
“Towards the end I think they were just too quick. They were pulling away. Nico had a sequence of really, really quick lap times – so we couldn’t do that – but all-in-all, as I said, closer here, which is great for us, and in front of the other teams.
“If we keep doing that, and keep getting closer, obviously there’s a point where we are some real challenge for these guys, which I’m looking forward to.”
This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of Scuderia Ferrari