Sebastian Vettel 'nervous' but sure Ferrari start 2019 'more prepared'

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Sebastian Vettel admits the unknowns of a new Formula 1 season have left him a "bit nervous" ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

The general consensus is the German will start the weekend in Melbourne as the driver to beat, with the Italian team appearing to hold an advantage over Mercedes in pre-season.

And speaking in the press conference on Thursday, agreed that the Scuderia was in a "better position" to start the year than 12 months ago.

"Yeah, quite frankly because last year’s winter testing didn’t go well for us, and we actually had some issues with the car to fix," Vettel said.

"Obviously we got a bit lucky during the race weekend with the Safety Car to grab the win but I think in this regard [the performance] we’re more prepared. Our car seems to work fine, no problems at this stage."

But given there is that expectation, Vettel admits nerves will be felt until a clearer picture emerges in qualifying on Saturday. 

"Obviously, we can’t do better than last year’s result," he noted. "It’s a tough weekend ahead of us and always at the start you are a bit nervous, you don’t know exactly where you are or what is going to happen."

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Perhaps the only reassurance for Vettel is he accepts the key for Ferrari this year will be maintaining a high level of performance throughout.

"I don’t think we will win it [the championship] here, I don’t think we will lose it here," he stated.

"It’s a long way. Hopefully, we have a strong package, a strong team that carries us into a position at the end of the year to fight for it."