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Sebastian Vettel expects Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen to be closer in 2016

Mirko Stange/Sutton Images

Sebastian Vettel is expecting Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen to be closer this year after the Finn suffered a season of bad luck in 2015.

On paper, Vettel demolished Raikkonen last year with 278 points to 150 by the end of the season. However, problems seemed to affect Raikkonen's car more often than Vettel's and the German said in terms of pure pace they are much closer than people think.

"He managed to push fairly well," Vettel said. "He was a bit unlucky at the beginning of last year. It is one of these things, people don't have a long memory and tend to forget and just look at the numbers. I think it was fairly close and I am sure it will be fairly close this year."

One of the most obvious changes to the Ferrari this year is the switch back to a push-rod front suspension layout after four years of running pull-rod. Raikkonen has long complained about his dissatisfaction with the responsiveness of Ferrari's front end, but Vettel says direct comparisons between last year's car and this year's are difficult.

"To really be 100 percent specific you need to jump out of one and jump into the other but since they are two different cars, it is not just the front suspension. As a driver, to drive one doesn't have a completely different feel to the other. If you ask James [Allison, technical director] he can go into more detail but for a driver I think this is what I was used to before so it is perhaps a bit similar to that. It is not like there are certain things you can do with one and not the other. The car felt good, the front end felt good straight away, I think it was a step forward"