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Sebastian Vettel says Mercedes are favourites in Austria after Friday practice

SPIELBERG, Austria -- Sebastian Vettel says Mercedes are favourites for the Austrian Grand Prix but believes Ferrari will be closer to its main title rival than it was in Azerbaijan.

Mercedes locked out the front row in Baku ahead of both Ferraris and would likely have won the race if Lewis Hamilton had not suffered an issue with his car's headrest. Austria is another power-sensitive circuit and Hamilton topped both of Friday's practice sessions, though Vettel finished the day 0.147s off the front in FP2.

Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari. Clive Mason/Getty Images
Vettel expects Ferrari to be closer to the front this weekend but still believes Mercedes to hold an advantage.

"Baku was a one-off in many ways, qualilfying for us wasn't good," he said after FP2. Positioning was not too bad but the gap was too big. I didn't feel as confident and comfortable as we should have but Sunday was OK. Generally Sundays have been OK. For here, I haven't seen much yet but it looks close.

"It's a short track so you imagine it'll be close. Mercedes is the favourite. They seem very quick, whenever they went out today. We'll see what happens tomorrow."

Vettel says the balance of his car felt good throughout the day, despite the gap to the world champions.

"We understood what happened in Baku but it's very different here, it's a bit warmer, particularly asphalt temperatures. Tyres are a bit different, warm-up doesn't seem to be so bad, so it's quite a big gap [between compounds]. But we'll see, today is Friday, it's difficult to judge, the car feels really good all around the lap."

Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/19894426/sebastian-vettel-says-mercedes-favourites-austria-friday-practice

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