Sebastian Vettel expects Ferrari to be competitive up against Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes in this weekend's Russian Grand Prix, which is in contrast to expectations last season which were exceeded when he and his team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen, took two out of the top three places.
Mercedes have won every championship race in Russia at the track in Sochi, and although they did so last year via Valtteri Bottas also, the two Ferrari drivers ran him close and ended up completing the top three in second and third position respectively.
Vettel has confessed that last year's positive result has increased expectations for the 2018 edition of the GP, but he thinks the team is up to it.
“I think last year probably was a surprise to see that we were so competitive here, this year we sort of expect to be competitive here,” Vettel said when previewing Sunday's race.
However, the four-time world champion has conceded that Ferrari's recent form needs to be looked at when making predictions, and that it is important the Scuderia simply take each race as it comes.
“Having said that, I think you need to take into account the last couple of races, where we struggled to have maybe the race pace and put it together in the race for different reasons," Vettel continued.
“I think we need to not get distracted by the results but focus on the job that we have to do and tackle every session on its own and then see where we end up.”
Vettel is currently 40 points behind Hamilton in the drivers' championship, while Ferrari trail Mercedes by 37 points in the constructors' championship with six races remaining on the calendar.