Sebastian Vettel believes that it would be a "big surprise" if Mercedes struggles again at this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.
Vettel is aware that Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are likely to bounce back from last weekend’s slump in performance and will be keeping a close eye on Mercedes over the weekend.
"We hope so, but we remain realistic," said Vettel during Thursday's press conference, when asked about his prospects of repeating the victory.
"In a way it was a big surprise to see Mercedes struggling [in Singapore], which I don't expect to be the case here – again it would be a big surprise.
"If the chance is there we have to go for it.
"The nature of the track is totally different here, so we have to wait, and the weather could bring a lot of surprises as well, so it's going to be a tough weekend."
Vettel has a near perfect record at Suzuka, the German having clinched his second world title at the venue in 2011, and taken four victories from the previous six races.
"It's a driver's circuit, and I think we all love the track; it's one of the old-school circuits on the calendar," explained Vettel, who triumphed with Red Bull in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013.
"If you want to know what a Formula 1 car can do, then the first sector sums it up."
"From my point of view, it's the best track in the world."