Sebastian Vettel finished 2018 a beaten man, demonstrating equal parts realism and denial. As he reflected on where things had gone wrong, he seemed to grasp the problem. But did he have it in focus? For under different circumstances, this man could have emerged from last season as world champion.
At the very least he should have taken his title fight with Lewis Hamilton to the final race. Instead, he meekly surrendered to the Mercedes driver in Mexico, with two races still to go.
When asked about the way in which he lost the championship, Vettel would refer, in the first instance, to the stall in Ferrari's development at Singapore when a new floor dropped them off the pace for three races until the problem was rectified. Only after emphasising that point would he talk about his own errors.