Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel insists that his team Ferrari can only be satisfied if it manages to fight its way back to a position where it can challenge for the world championship titles.
After a promising pre-season testing, Ferrari endured a series of reliability problems, misfortunes and an uncompetitive car, leaving the Maranello-based team and its fans shocked. Although the Scuderia showed good form in several races as in Bahrain, Canada, Austria and Germany, issues of different natures prevented it to convert the good pace into victories. However, in Belgium, Charles Leclerc scored the first triumph in 2019 for the scarlet-red team. Just a week after his victory at Spa, nobody could stop the young Monegasque at Monza from clinching another victory on Ferrari’s home turf.
After the high-speed tracks of Spa and Monza, Ferrari was expected to struggle on the downforce-sensitive track of Singapore. However, the team brought a new floor and a new nose to the Marina Bay Circuit and managed to get Pirelli’s rather difficult 2019 constructions to work. Capitalizing on the good qualifying performance and an excellent strategy, Ferrari clinched its first one-two finish in the season, becoming the first squad to secure a double victory at the challenging track over the 12-year history of the Singapore Grand Prix.
Despite to the hat-trick of victories, Sebastian Vettel does not let himself get carried away with the success of his team, claiming that Ferrari can only be satisfied if it can fight for victories on a regular basis.
“Well, I’ve been around for a while now with Ferrari and I think there’s only one way for Ferrari to be back which is when we win the championship. That’s a very harsh judgement but that’s what it is, that’s the reality. We’re working very hard on that. I think this year will be very, very difficult to turn things around with the current form that Mercedes has for the last 15 races or 14 races that we did now,” he said.
The German said that Ferrari would keep fighting in terms of developing the actual car, “because anything we learn this year will help us next year, so the bits we brought here obviously are positive in terms of also looking to next year’s direction, development etc. But we need more, obviously we want to be the best team, which currently we are not. The last races have been good for us so that’s great for our self confidence inside the team for everyone, but there’s still a lot of work ahead of us.”
Trying times for the team
The 32-year old was keen to stress that Ferrari as a team is bigger than any single individual because the entire squad had to achieve an exceptional work to turn its fortunes around after its embarrassing showing in the Hungarian Grand Prix.
“I think you are very misled if you ever think that you are bigger than this team. I don’t think any individual can be bigger than this team. I said on the radio, the first thing is obviously this is a victory for the team because if you look at the hard facts then we came here after we got completely destroyed in Hungary.”
Vettel said that both he and his teammate Charles Leclerc have to respect Ferrari’s efforts to improve its car in high-downforce configuration. “We had a minute gap between the leaders, the winners and us and coming here, similar track at least in terms of car specification, to be in a position where we were able to fight for pole yesterday and take control of the race, that’s a team success, as I said on the radio and that’s what I honestly feel. So of course you’re looking after your own race and for yourself but I think nothing can beat this team.”
The 53-time race winner also conceded that it was hard for him to get over his mistake during the Italian Grand Prix. “I was very down after Monza for myself but up for the team and obviously today I’m a bit more up for myself but still very up for the team, as I said, because it was also a very positive surprise with how we were able to be more competitive here, “ he concluded.