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Honda website

MARCH 16, 2016

Ferrari will snap up slightest mistake

Ferrari is now within an uncomfortable striking distance of Mercedes' dominance, according to Niki Lauda.

"I see clearly that Ferrari is catching us with great strides," the F1 legend and Mercedes team chairman told the German broadcaster RTL.

"I suspect they have moved to within two, three tenths of us. That's a dangerously small lead now."

Mercedes has utterly dominated the 'power unit' era so far and many expect a third consecutive installation in 2016, but Lauda thinks the gap is now close to insignificant.

"The slightest mistake from us regarding strategy or tyres and that two-three tenths is quickly gone," he said.

Sebastian Vettel, the lead Ferrari driver, would seem to agree, declaring in his last European interview before addressing the media in Melbourne that the only goal for 2016 is the title.

"I see it very positively that the expectations are high," he told Sport Bild.

"My goal is very clearly to be world champion and to win races. Anything else is for me not good enough."

As for whether Ferrari really has closed the gap on Mercedes, Vettel warned: "That question can only be answered halfway seriously after a few races.

"But as a driver you always have to believe in yourself and your chances."