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Vettel downplays reliability troubles

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Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen could use the improved engine next weekend in Sochi meaning a third power unit for Vettel already this season/PHOTO- Sky Sports

Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen could use the improved engine next weekend in Sochi meaning a third power unit for Vettel already this season/PHOTO- Sky Sports

MOSCOW, April 30 – Sebastian Vettel says he is not frustrated by Ferrari’s reliability troubles despite a gearbox issue costing him a front row start at the Russian Grand Prix.

On Friday it was reported that Ferrari had to fit a new gearbox to Vettel’s SF16-H, meaning a five-grid penalty for the German.

That has cost him a front row grid slot for Sunday’s grand prix as he qualified P2 behind Nico Rosberg.

This is not the first time that a lack of reliability has hampered Ferrari this season.

Kimi Raikkonen retired from the season-opening Australian GP while Vettel failed to make the grid when his engine expired on the formation lap in Bahrain.

But despite the troubles, the German insists he is not letting it get to him as he understands that Ferrari are pushing hard to close the gap to Mercedes.

“Not frustrated at all,” he said in Saturday’s post-qualifying press conference.

“Obviously it is not nice when these things happen because they don’t make your life easier.

“Equally it is a part of racing, these things can happen – they don’t happen on purpose, they weren’t planned.

“We are pushing very hard to catch up which I think especially in race-pace we’ve proven already this year.

“Obviously we have not had a completely clean race yet but maybe we will have tomorrow, you never know.

“It is a long race, a long way, especially around here where a lot of things can happen so I think we have to wait and see.”

The German reckons Ferrari can bounce back this Sunday as he chases his third podium result of the season.

“I think we can have a very good race,” he stated.

“The car feels good. We know on Saturday we are a little bit further back than we would hope, but I expect a strong race.”

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