London: Despite winning two out of 10 races so far, Ferrari have no illusions about how tough it will be to match Mercedes when they return for the second half of the Formula One season after the August break.
The Italian team, who failed to win a race last season for the first time since 1993, go into the factory shutdown on a high after Sebastian Vettel`s victory in Hungary last weekend.
That was the German`s second win since he moved to Maranello from Red Bull and left the four times champion 42 points adrift of Mercedes` Lewis Hamilton and 21 behind the Briton`s team mate Nico Rosberg.
With 25 points for a win, any failure to score by the leaders could throw Vettel more into the mix -- reviving memories of his 2010 season when the only time he led the championship was after the final race.
Vettel said in Hungary that Ferrari would "try to make the impossible possible" in the remaining races but team bosses still played down the chances of reeling in their rivals.
"The season as a whole, I think we can be happy that we`ve demonstrated that we`ve stepped up from last year," said technical director James Allison.
"But there`s an awful lot more for us to do as a team before we can feel that we are really showing a Ferrari that everyone can be completely proud of.
"We`ve said throughout, our car isn`t good enough to challenge for any sort of championship this year," added the Briton. "We will do our best to get more and more competitive race by race but you have to be realistic about where we are working from."
Team principal Maurizio Arrivabene, speaking to reporters after the race, agreed that Mercedes -- winners of the other eight grands prix -- remained in a class of their own even if neither Hamilton or Rosberg were on the podium in Hungary.
"Mercedes is strong everywhere. We expect to have good races, bad races," he said.
"At the beginning of the season (the gap) was quite big then we were able to nearly catch up, we continued our development, but they also developed their cars so they fly away again.
"I think the story of this season is going to be that one. They are the strongest team, I recognise that, sometimes we are able to catch up...but sometimes they fly away."