Mercedes have constantly played down their title credentials this year, especially after struggling during the two weeks of pre-season testing.Lewi
Mercedes have constantly played down their title credentials this year, especially after struggling during the two weeks of pre-season testing.
Lewis Hamilton claimed his team were at least half a second behind Ferrari, who set the pace in Barcelona.
However, Mercedes were far superior during Australian Grand Prix practice this morning as Hamilton set the fastest time in both sessions.
And Vettel thinks the Silver Arrows have been telling a few lies in the build up to the campaign.
“I think they [Mercedes] looked really quick,” Vettel said.
“I don’t know if it was just us struggling a bit, but as a matter of fact they were in a league of their own.
“What was all that bulls*** about with them being out of shape and so on? I didn’t understand that to be honest. So it was a bit of a surprise.
“Maybe everyone else was struggling and then we can turn it around, but they looked very strong and much stronger than they claimed before the weekend.”
Vettel finished fifth and his Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc sat ninth after practice.
And the German admitted he can improve his lap times over the weekend.
It was a tricky day for us and probably a tricky day for everyone,” added Vettel.
“I think for us we are not where we would like to be – not in terms of lap time but in terms of car feel and handling.
“We didn’t really get into the groove and rhythm and that’s quite important around here.
“So if we can get that confidence and that groove back, there is a lot of lap time in that around here.”
The 2019 season gets underway in Melbourne on Sunday.
Vettel is hunting his fifth world title this year, while Hamilton is hoping to add Championship No 6.