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Vettel calls on Ferrari to produce quicker 2019 car

  • Published on 28 Dec 2018 10:52
  • comments 9
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Sebastian Vettel believes that the key to Ferrari's 2019 title challenge is to produce a stronger package than 2018. The Maranello outfit competed against Mercedes for the championship this year for the second year running, but fell short after a dip in form following the summer break.

Vettel got himself involved in a series of spins at Italy, Japan and the USA, while Ferrari also made some strategic errors and failed to successfully upgrade its car. Lewis Hamilton wrapped up his fifth world title at the Mexican Grand Prix with two rounds to spare.

Ferrari's 2018 car was undoubtedly stronger than its 2017 package, but Vettel says that Ferrari needs to make yet another step in order to successfully challenge Mercedes for both world championships.

“I think we need a stronger package,” Vettel said. “We certainly had our moments this year when we had strong races but we also had races which weren’t very strong, we weren’t quick enough, so I think overall it’s the speed that decides and I think more often than not I think we’re lacking a little bit of speed. I think we’re working very hard and the motivation is there to do that final step that is still outstanding.”

Vettel added that too much focus is directed at the drivers, stating that there are hundreds of people constantly working on the car back at the factory: “What you look at in terms of when you look in qualifying or the race, then obviously we are the ones driving the car and we are alone driving the car.

"When we cross the line you look at us first, but there’s a lot of people behind to make sure that you do cross the line and if they do their job really really well and work together then you have a high chance of finishing higher up.

“So I think it’s needless to say that Lewis (Hamilton) had an incredible run the last five years…since the day he joined Formula 1 until now, to be honest. They’re doing a really good job as a team. The challenge to beat such a strong team is difficult but that’s our target.

“We know where we want to go: A lot of work ahead of us, a lot of lessons to be learned again this year. We have 21 races and in summary, we haven’t been strong enough this year to take the challenge until the last race, the last lap, so I think we need to look at ourselves.

“I think we have the people, we have the resources so it’s more getting the maximum out of our package, improving the work inside our team and making sure that we come up with a stronger package, a stronger team for the future.”

Replies (9)

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  • Lots of statements to bury what should be the key message "improving the work inside our team".
    Until the FIA MGU-K flow rate clampdown, they HAD the quicker car and it's probably still a wash between the W09 and the SF71H over the balance of last season, as to which one was quickest in general.
    That wasn't his problem this past year and unless they screw up the new front wing, won't be his problem next season.
    It's his mental state and that of the team. You can't stop screwing it up by constantly thinking "don't screw it up, don't screw it up".
    It's by focusing on the desired outcome and that was what was lacking, focus.
    Too much Arrivabene - Binotto.
    Too much will he or won't he (LeClerc)
    Too much "I have to pass this guy in this race at this moment in this corner" and not enough "maximise the points every race" and "let's see what happens over 40+ laps".
    Even then it would have been tough to beat Hamilton the way he ran the 2018 season, but to crumble the walls of castle Hamilton, it needs a full-season effort of constant scratching at every stone .... I don't see Ferrari and Vettel doing that, in 2019. Nor anyone else unless Red Bull Honda and Verstappen _really_ get their act together, which is unlikely.

    • + 0
    • Dec 28 2018 - 12:12
    • "improving the work inside our team". -Yep, nailed it. The entire team including VET couldn't get out of their own way the 2nd half of the season.

      • + 0
      • Dec 29 2018 - 05:03
  • blade

    Posts: 341

    Agree entirely - Vettel is undoubtedly a top class driver, but not quite on Hamilton;s level - that much is clear by the error rate count, he's not quite consistent enough to threaten Hamilton over a whole season. Feeling the same for Verstappen too - brilliant in recent races but been unable to show his skill over a full season just et - mind you - he's still only starting out isn't he !! Patience, calmness, calculation - these seem to be missing from Ferrari, maybe it's also a little to do with tone from the top?

    • + 1
    • Dec 28 2018 - 12:49
    • When VET has his confidence I think he's as good as Hammy. When he starts to doubt, then he just snowballs downhill.

      • + 0
      • Dec 29 2018 - 05:04
  • I for one think a prime Vettel is superior to a prime Hamilton, but time will tell. The key issues were dumdums on Vettel's side in Japan, the U.S and Germany (oh the pain is still fresh in me from Hockenheim!), and Ferrari's poor strategy, both being things they should be able to fix for 2019. I hope we'll get to see them both fighting alongside a prime Bottas (if he is allowed to and Mercedes wont do what they actually DID[!!!] to him again), a rampant Leclerc and a hopefully very strong Red Bull duo. And hopefully we'll see a grid tighter than my monthly budget again.

    • + 0
    • Dec 28 2018 - 14:13
  • You're talking Vettel in 2013 I suppose. But the reality is that when a car is so superior a driver doesn't have to be so much on the limit and it's easier to be mistake free. Same could be said to an extent of Mercedes in 2014. But I give more credit to Lewis since he actually had a proper intra team battle.

    I do agree that it would be great to have a battle amongst all of them. You worry about Bottas being allowed to fight, although there is Plenty of precedent of Toto allowing drivers to fight. I hope you have high expectations of Ferrari who have decades of reducing the second driver to servitude.

    • + 0
    • Dec 28 2018 - 16:29
    • @AJPP I will allow myself to be so egocentrical as to assume you where replying to me? :) Yes, I do talk about Vet2013 to an extent. And the Toro Rosso Vettel to boot, 'spose. Hoooweverrr, my shrimp is that the prime is the best year, and that applies to Vettel and Hammy as much as anyone else. Lewis did indeed have a more competitive partner, but that was while Merc' allowed it. Mark my words: History taught us that Merc' allowed Rosie vs Hammy, but history also taught us that 50 Shades of Toto sticks with what's nice and cozy (see DTM for reference), and Toto dont want the same mess again. He has chosen the lazy option of having a 1st and 2nd driver, like I stick with the beverage thats the simplest to other rather than insisting of having a wedding cake martini. That aint even a shrimp, thats how it is. And it sucks.

      Cheekyness aside: I do enjoy discussing stuff with ya... to be fair I like to discuss things with most here, but we seem to have about 50% of our opinions in common, yet somehow we always keep it civil. Unusual for being the net.

      • + 0
      • Dec 28 2018 - 19:31
  • The quickest F1 car ever won't help him if he continues making unforced mistakes all the time.

    • + 2
    • Dec 28 2018 - 18:32
  • xoya

    Posts: 583

    I know of one guy who would've won the championship with that (and last year's) Ferrari car.
    In Vettel's case, yeah. He definitelly needs a faster car to win.

    • + 0
    • Dec 29 2018 - 09:06

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