Vettel plays down impressive Ferrari practice performance

Ferrari topped the timesheets in both practice sessions in Bahrain on Friday but Sebastian Vettel insisted he was "not entirely happy" with the display.

Both Vettel and new team-mate Charles Leclerc finished outside the podium places at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and are looking to make significant improvements in Sakhir.

With Leclerc and Vettel going fastest in FP1 and FP2 respectively, Ferrari looked to have turned a corner, but the German driver still expects a tough weekend.

"Certainly today was a better day for us overall but I think certainly we need to pick up pace for tomorrow," said Vettel. "We hope to be in better shape and much closer than Melbourne.

"Obviously today the result was good and we were probably on a different strategy to other people, so I wouldn’t put too much attention on that. We still need to improve, especially because Mercedes looks very fast.

"We still need to find something. I’m not entirely happy with today, I just don't have the feeling yet that I want to have. There's still more in the car.

"Then I think if we unleash that then we should be in good shape tomorrow and hopefully we can be a lot closer and put Mercedes under pressure."

Team boss Mattia Binotto added: "Today we focused on ourselves and on our programme, trying to react and address the issues we had. The delta you see here is not too significant. Tomorrow it will be certainly a tough battle. The others will be very strong tomorrow.

"It’s quite obvious, you may see the GPS data - the speed on the straights, we were certainly pushing different engine modes compared to what the others were pushing.

"What is important is staying focused on ourselves. We improved our situation after Australia. This one is quite a different track.

"Let's say we didn't have today the problem we suffered in the Australia, thanks to the track and thanks to the modification we made."

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