Nico Rosberg does not think Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari are ready to topple Mercedes in F1. The two top teams battled for the title this year, but ultimately Lewis Hamilton won the championship with two races to spare.
And outgoing world champion Rosberg told the German source T-Online: "I do not think Vettel will have a better chance next year. This year, the opportunity for him to win the championship was huge, but Mercedes as a whole team is just so strong.
"So I think the gap between them and Ferrari could even get bigger in the coming season. But let's see. Even Mercedes has made mistakes, and Sebastian has to hope for more of that and to be there at the right moment," the retired German said.
Sebastian Vettel himself says his biggest mistake during his failed 2017 title bid was Baku. His rival Lewis Hamilton wrapped up the championship two weeks ago in Mexico, and Ferrari's Vettel admits it was "very" disappointing.
But he told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "It's already time to turn the page: "There are still two races where we will think about 2018. And there is still the second place (battle with Valtteri Bottas) to defend and 50 points still available," he added.
After the disappointing championship defeat, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne said some of the reason was car reliability, and another part was due to driver errors. Vettel, referring to when he controversially crashed into Lewis Hamilton, responded: "I was really wrong only in Baku. The rest of the season went well enough."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing
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