Vettel backs Ferrari to beat Mercedes in 2016


Sebastian Vettel finished 2015 with an eye-catching drive from 15th on the grid to finish fourth in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and then forecast that Ferrari can overcome “beatable” Mercedes next year.

The four-time champion German, who has enjoyed an impressive maiden season with the Italian team after moving from former champions Red Bull, said he was confident that Ferrari were ready to dominate again.

Vettel recovered from a bad qualifying session that left him 15th on the grid to finish behind his team-mate Finn Kimi Raikkonen at the Yas Marina circuit.

“We know there is still an awful lot to do and that Mercedes is very strong,” he said. “But we can be better than them, they are beatable.

“We are very fired up about next year. In the end, we don’t want to play chaser any more — we want to turn it around and be the dominant force.

“It’s been an upward curve all year. At the start we were probably around 1.5 seconds behind, but now we’re 10 to 15 seconds behind over a Grand Prix distance.

“We know we can improve the car and the power unit and on the drivers side we can do better. If we put this together, we can be very strong next season.”