Sebastian Vettel: 'Mercedes are a long way ahead'

Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull prepares to drive during practise for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix on March 15, 2014
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Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel admits that Mercedes are a long way in front of his team ahead of this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel has conceded that Mercedes are a "long way" ahead of Red Bull following the first two practice sessions for this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.

The defending world champion was seventh in the second session and teammate Daniel Ricciardo posted the fourth fastest time, while Mercedes's Lewis Hamilton led the field.

The German told Sky Sports News: "For today, I think it was a good day, a stronger day for us. It's very difficult where we are in terms of pace but it's really easy to say that we're not with Mercedes.

"We had a strong day today, no issues with both of our cars nothing went wrong, a lot of things were learned. Now it's up to us to see some improvements tomorrow.

"They've proven again today that they're quite quick so it will be a long way for us to catch up but in the long term it's important that we make bigger steps than them."

Qualifying for Sunday's race takes place tomorrow.

Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes GP prepares to drive during practise for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix on March 15, 2014
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TeamPoints
1Mercedes357
2Ferrari318
3Red Bull184
4Force India101
5Williams-Mercedes41
6Toro Rosso39
7Haas29
8Renault26
9McLaren11
10Sauber5
DriversTeamPoints
1Sebastian VettelFerrari202
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes188
3Valtteri BottasMercedes169
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull117
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari116
6Max VerstappenRed Bull67
7Sergio PerezForce India56
8Esteban OconForce India45
9Carlos SainzToro Rosso35
10Nico HulkenbergRenault26
11Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes23
12Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes18
13Romain GrosjeanHaas18
14Kevin MagnussenHaas11
15Fernando AlonsoMcLaren10
16Pascal WehrleinSauber5
17Daniil KvyatToro Rosso4
18Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1
19Marcus EricssonSauber0
20Jolyon PalmerRenault0
21Antonio GiovinazziSauber0
22Jenson ButtonMcLaren0
23Paul di RestaWilliams-Mercedes0
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