Vettel expects tight margins at Austria double-header

VIDEO SHOWS: INTERVIEW WITH FERRARI DRIVER, SEBASTIAN VETTEL, FILE FOOTAGE OF VETTEL AND FERRARI, FILE FOOTAGE OF THE RED BULL RING IN SPIELBERG

SHOWS:

SCARPERIA E SAN PIERO, ITALY (RECENT - JUNE 2020) (FERRARI HANDOUT - ACCESS ALL)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FERRARI DRIVER, SEBASTIAN VETTEL, SAYING:

"Well I think first of all I'm looking forward to getting back in the car. We've been waiting now for quite a long time and it's started to feel like a long time so I think having a teaser in Mugello was nice but getting back in the real car for the real thing is what we're looking forward to going racing, competing with the others. Austria is a place that I like, a circuit that I like so yes, it's good to know that finally we're allowed to get back."

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA (FILE) (RED BULL CONTENT POOL - NO RESALES. NO NEW USES AFTER 6 MONTHS. NO USE AFTER OCTOBER 27, 2020. EDITORIAL USE OF CONTENT ON YOUTUBE IS PERMITTED, PROVIDED THEY ARE SHORTENED VERSIONS OF LICENSED CONTENT AND ARE COMPRISED OF NO MORE THAN 70% OF THE ORIGINAL LICENSED CONTENT) (MUTE)

2. AERIAL OF RED BULL RING IN SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA (MUTE)

3. AERIAL OF GRANDSTANDS (MUTE)

SCARPERIA E SAN PIERO, ITALY (RECENT - JUNE 2020) (FERRARI HANDOUT - ACCESS ALL)

4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FERRARI DRIVER, SEBASTIAN VETTEL, SAYING:

"Well I have no experience heading back to the same track just a week after and having a second race but I've been around for a while. I guess the level of perfection will be even higher the second weekend, the level of errors will be even smaller. I think we need to make sure that we learn as much as we can, as quick as we can after the first week and take that experience into the second week. I think there will be a chance to look at the race in particular, review the strategy and we get another chance just seven days after so that's a first and we'll see how we tackle that challenge."

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA (FILE) (RED BULL CONTENT POOL - NO RESALES. NO NEW USES AFTER 6 MONTHS. NO USE AFTER OCTOBER 27, 2020. EDITORIAL USE OF CONTENT ON YOUTUBE IS PERMITTED, PROVIDED THEY ARE SHORTENED VERSIONS OF LICENSED CONTENT AND ARE COMPRISED OF NO MORE THAN 70% OF THE ORIGINAL LICENSED CONTENT) (MUTE)

5. VARIOUS OF GRANDSTANDS AT THE RED BULL RING

SCARPERIA E SAN PIERO, ITALY (RECENT - JUNE 2020) (FERRARI HANDOUT - ACCESS ALL)

6. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FERRARI DRIVER, SEBASTIAN VETTEL, SAYING:

"Well I think the best thing you can do is to start the season prepared. I think we've had such a long time now before of waiting not knowing what type of season we will have. Now I think we, you know, at least we know some of the schedule and a lot of races in the short times. So, I think the main work is done already. I think when we get to the races obviously it will be one race after the other. There's not much time to develop your physical state and so on. I think it's really trying to manage the level of stress or the inputs, the information, the data, analysis and so on. And so, I think it's really been about being disciplined and focused and trying to focus on each race individually to try and make all of them count and get the most out of all of them."

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (NOVEMBER 26, 2015) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

7. VARIOUS OF SEBASTIAN VETTEL AT MEDIA EVENT WITH FANS AND SIGNING AUTOGRAPHS

SCARPERIA E SAN PIERO, ITALY (RECENT - JUNE 2020) (FERRARI HANDOUT - ACCESS ALL)

8. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FERRARI DRIVER, SEBASTIAN VETTEL, SAYING:

"We will miss the fans. I think racing without fans is definitely not the same. I've never done it. I can't really imagine how it will be. I think it's good to race. It's good to get going but if I could choose obviously, I would race with fans. Now, for the reasons that we all know, we can't do that and as I said it's probably good to get on the way and hopefully rather sooner than later we will bring the fans back and in the meantime I guess they're following us on TV and we try to have some great races, put on a great show and I definitely prefer racing with fans so I can't wait for them to be back."

REGGIO EMILIA, ITALY (FILE - FEBRUARY 11, 2020) (FERRARI HANDOUT - ACCESS ALL)

9. VARIOUS OF FERRARI'S SF1000 CAR BEING UNVEILED ONSTAGE AT THE ROMOLO VALLI THEATRE WITH DRIVERS SEBASTIAN VETTEL (LEFT) AND CHARLES LECLERC (RIGHT)

10. FERRARI REPRESENTATIVES HOLDING FLAG, VETTEL AND LECLERC HOLDING ITALIAN FLAG, TEAM CEO MATTIO BINOTTO (GLASSES, ON RIGHT)

STORY: Sebastian Vettel believes the back-to-back races in Austria at the start of the Formula One season will be decided on slim margins and his Ferrari team will need to fine-tune their racing strategy to remain competitive over two weeks.

Four-times world champion Vettel and team mate Charles Leclerc hit the track in Ferrari's 2018 car, the SF71-H, earlier this week in a test at Mugello as the Scuderia stepped up their preparations for the 2020 campaign.

The season will kick off with the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring on July 5, followed a week later by a second race at the same track, as part of an eight-race European leg.

"I have no experience heading back to the same track just a week after and having a second race, but I've been around for a while," Vettel told Ferrari in an interview.

"I guess the level of perfection will be even higher the second weekend, the level of errors will be even smaller.

"I think there will be a chance to look at the race in particular, review the strategy and we get another chance just seven days after, so that's a first, and we'll see how we tackle that challenge."

The eight races on the initial calendar will be held without fans present and in controlled conditions due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, which has killed over 493,000 people globally.

Vettel, who has already confirmed his departure from Ferrari at the end of the season, says racing in front of empty stands will be an unusual experience for all the drivers.

"I've never done it. I can't really imagine how it will be," the 32-year-old German said.

"I think it's good to race. It's good to get going but if I could choose, obviously I would race with fans."