Ferrari fears Mercedes backlash in China

The Ferrari Formula 1 team is not expecting to continue with its winning form in next month's Chinese Grand Prix despite Sebastian Vettel's victory at Sepang.

Ferrari fears Mercedes backlash in China
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF15-T
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF15-T
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF15-T
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF15-T
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF15-T

Four-time champion Vettel gave the Maranello squad its first win since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday to end his and the team's victory drought with a superb drive to defeat the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

Although the Mercedes duo were clear favourites for victory after a dominant display in Australia, they had no response to Vettel's pace and strategy in Malaysia.

But Ferrari's technical director James Allison concedes the extreme heat at Sepang flattered Ferrari, and he expects Mercedes to be back up in front in the next race in China.

"The track is quite rough and hot, which is hard for tyres, and we are fortunate that the car goes quite well on its tyres," said Allison after the race.

"Quite what problems are being carried on the other side of the equation [Mercedes], I don't know, but I'm fairly sure that we will have our work cut out in China to do anything like as impressive a job as we have done here."

Vettel himself also admitted Ferrari is still some way behind Mercedes in terms of pace.

"We have to be realistic. They (Mercedes) had a very big gap in winter testing and in the first race, which does not just evaporate," he said.

"Our target has to be that the gap between them and us keeps getting smaller, as the gap will still be there."

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