Vettel claims Ferrari pace still track-dependent unlike Mercedes

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Sebastian Vettel doesn't believe Ferrari is yet ready to compete with Mercedes on every circuit despite recent progress.

Last weekend in Singapore, the Italian team threw pre-weekend expectations out of the window by claiming pole in qualifying with Charles Leclerc and then taking a 1-2 finish led by the four-time world champion.

The main reason given for the sudden improvement on a high downforce circuit is a new upgrade Ferrari introduced which has seemingly unlocked the performance from the chassis.

Vettel though insists the pace at Marina Bay doesn't signal a sudden ability to challenge Mercedes everywhere.

"It's been a very good streak for us," he said, referring to the three straight races Ferrari have won.

"It was a very good result in Singapore because it was at a [type of] track where lately we haven't been so good if you [look at] Hungary.

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"So that certainly was a surprise, a positive surprise for us, but I think it also helps us to understand our car even further with the stuff that we brought to the car and understanding the direction of what it needs to do more, to explore certain directions more.

"Overall, it is definitely heading in the right direction but it would be wrong to think 'we've won on two different types of tracks, we can win everywhere'," Vettel stated.

"I think it's still Mercedes that have been in a position to win every race this year so they are the ones to beat, they are the benchmark. That's where we want to be, and ideally ahead of that.

"So there's still a lot of work in front of us but I think it also shows things are going in the right way and it doesn't take much to click."

Singapore also saw Vettel put an end to a difficult 22-race run without a victory, with one of his main issues being how this year's Ferrari doesn't suit his style.

And finding a solution to that is another area the 32-year-old thinks has been crucial.

“The balance found in the last few races helps us more than the update itself,” PlanetF1 quoted him as telling Italian media.

“The front and back work much better together and this helps us in terms of performance.”