Sebastian Vettel insists he is in the fight for this year's World Championship - and believes Ferrari have what it takes to try and beat Mercedes, reports autosport.com.
The four-time World Champion finished over 45 seconds behind race winner Nico Rosberg at last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix, but despite securing another place on the podium was not happy with the performance of Ferrari in the race.
Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton finished second to Rosberg and now has a 20-point advantage over his Mercedes team-mate, with Vettel trailing Hamilton by 31 points. But despite the gap, Vettel believes he is still a contender for the 2015 Drivers' Championship.
"I think I’m in the fight," said Vettel, who has won the Malaysian Grand Prix this year and finished on the podium in three of the other four races.
"We are able to improve our car. I think there’s some good steps coming. Obviously our opponent is the favourite for the whole year and was untouchable last year to be fair, so I think the way you need to look at it is not that Mercedes is so strong, the way you need to look at it is that Ferrari was able to close the gap more than anyone else.
"I think we can be proud of that and we are very much willing to take our chance. Obviously we need to start turning things around very soon – but we are pushing to our maximum, trying to beat them soon."
Mercedes blitzed Ferrari at the Spanish Grand Prix with a comfortable one-two finish. However, Vettel says last Sunday's race does not show the true pace of Ferrari compared to their rivals.
"I don’t think this is the reality. If you look at the last four races, that is the reality. You have to be accept that there are some tracks where you will be a bit more competitive than others and it appears that for some reason we were not that competitive here," Vettel commented, adding that Ferrari will return to competitive form at the Monaco Grand Prix.
"I'm pretty confident we will get closer again - hopefully in two weeks' time. I'm confident in the next two or three races we should be stepping up our game again as a team."