Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari has no reason to fear any of the races coming after this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix, where it is expected to be the team to beat.
Having seen Mercedes claim back-to-back victories in Belgium and Italy, the championship momentum is expected to swing back to Ferrari at the high-downforce Marina Bay street circuit. Ferrari's best results this year have come at Monaco and Budapest, similar circuits to Singapore, and looks set to be its strongest circuit of the seven remaining on the calendar.
In contrast, Mercedes is braced for a difficult weekend but the races following the floodlit event are expected to swing the advantage back to the world champions. Vettel disagrees with that assessment and sees no reason his team cannot stay competitive after this weekend.
When told the circuits after Singapore might not suit Ferrari, Vettel said: "Well, I know how to read but I don't really care what's written on the paper. They're all tracks that I like, to be honest, so I'm very much looking forward to them. I think we are here to race, so if it's hard it's good. Easy is boring. I think that's what we all want and I'm definitely looking forward to it."
Hamilton's two recent wins propelled moved him three points clear of Vettel in the championship, the first time the German has not led this season. Though Mercedes has worked hard to understand the car Toto Wolff labelled "a diva" earlier this year, Vettel is more excited by the upgrades he expects from Ferrari in the coming races.
"At the moment you can say that Mercedes has an edge. Saturdays they're very strong which obviously has its contribution to Sundays, it's not a big secret but I think we are strong, we don't need to hide and there's plenty of positives. Things are coming, I'm sure they are developing their car. We are developing ours so I'm not so fussed about what they doing.
"I'm more focused on what's going on inside us, inside Ferrari and it makes me quite positive, what's coming, so we just need to see and then there's always the extra element of racing that you can't predict, that you can't put down on paper and that's usually the most exciting bit so I'm very much a fan of that and a fan of the moment and see what we can do."