Vettel & Ferrari target qualifying improvement

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Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari are both pushing for improvements in qualifying pace, with the German believing it is becoming a crucial factor in Mercedes' recent form

Five of the last six races has seen a Silver Arrow on pole with Lewis Hamilton taking four of them and converting three into victories in Spain, Canada and last weekend at Silverstone.

That has seen the pendulum swing increasingly in the Briton's favour and certainly after reducing Vettel's championship lead to just a single point after a late puncture dropped the four-time world champion to seventh place on Sunday.

“I think the real game changer is qualifying, they are able to turn up the engine between three and six tenths to us on the straights, it was seven in Austria, so we need to be fair with that,” Vettel said. “It is something we can't do, we are working on it but it doesn't happen overnight.”

Maintaining the rate of development was also one of the concerns some had when considering if Ferrari could remain level with Mercedes throughout this season.

“I think we mustn't forget last year we were far away, this year we have been the majority of the year matched," Vettel commented before admitting, "it is probably true the last couple of races Mercedes have been stronger."

“Red Bull were very vocal in the winter about how good they would be this season and so far they haven't been there so everybody is pushing very hard.

“We are working on the advantage they have in qualifying and it is a no brainer if you have the cars in front for the first lap or corner, the race looks different," he added. "We know where to tackle but it is not that easy.

“There is no reason to panic or worry, they are very quick and they have a couple of advantages we need to work on and then it could be a different picture.”