MONACO, May 25, 2013 (AFP) - Sebastian Vettel conceded that it will be difficult for him to pass his Mercedes rivals on the track in Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.
But he still believes he and his Red Bull team can overcome them with superior pace and a strategy that takes advantage of any tyre-wear problems they may suffer.
The defending triple world champion said he and his team would run their own race from third on the grid with German Nico Rosberg on pole and Briton Lewis Hamilton starting second.
"There are a lot of laps here," he said. "But it is difficult to overtake. It always depends where you are, [but] on track it can be difficult.
"Hopefully Mercedes will struggle, but we cannot rely on that. Tyre wear for sure will play a role tomorrow, but we need to look after ourselves first.
We will see what happens and then make the right calls.
"Our target tomorrow is to win."
The 25-year-old German also praised his team for their efforts in improving the car since Thursday.
"We saw on Thursday our performance was not great, I wasn't feeling the car and therefore today I was much happier," he said.
"Overall I was happy with my lap. On Thursday it did not look like we were anywhere close to the first two rows, so I am happy with the result and confident for tomorrow."
Vettel's teammate, Mark Webber, will start from fourth and given how well the Aussie drives in the streets of Montecarlo (two wins in three years) chances are he will put up a fight for the victory.
Webber admits that the conditions were tricky and anything could have happened. Still he expresses his satisfaction with the result.
“Yeah I’m pretty happy with that. It’s very easy to be towards the back when you have a disruptive session with those conditions, but we managed to survive all the tricky sections and put together a reasonably tidy effort.
You can always look at timings later and think you could have done things differently, but in the heat of the moment you make the decision as to what you think is right and overall it wasn’t too bad.
The conditions are changing and the tyres are tricky, so starting on the second row here is not bad. It’s a long race and a lot of strategy can unfold, so we’ll see what we can do from there.” Webber Said.