Sebastian Vettel: 2018 could be my most difficult Formula 1 season

Sebastian Vettel says that in some ways the 2018 season has "definitely" been his most difficult in Formula 1, having lost the title to Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton

Sebastian Vettel: 2018 could be my most difficult Formula 1 season

Vettel was finally eliminated from championship contention at the Mexican Grand Prix last weekend having been defeated by Hamilton in a close fight for the second season in a row.

The Ferrari driver has made several mistakes this season, including crashing out of the lead in Germany and spinning while battling on multiple occasions in the second half of the year.

Asked if this has been his most difficult year in F1, Vettel said: "Maybe, I don't know - I need to think about it but in some regards, definitely yes.

"It was definitely different to other years but nevertheless I think we shouldn't neglect the fact that we had a very strong package, we were able to win races, we're not in contention any more for the drivers' championship but we can fight for the constructors'.

"So, even if it has been a difficult year, I think still it's been a good year for us as a team.

"We're still improving - but certainly there were also things that became apparent that need fixing in order to do that final step that we are looking for."

Vettel sliding off-track on slick tyres in wet conditions in Germany contributed to the biggest points swing of the season as Hamilton, who had risen from 14th, took advantage of the ensuing safety car period to jump into a surprise lead.

Vettel spun on the opening lap in Italy as Hamilton overtook him, and the Briton won Ferrari's home race despite the Scuderia locking out the front row.

Further spins for Vettel followed in Japan, when he was trying to pass Max Verstappen early on, and in the United States after another first-lap collision - this time with Daniel Ricciardo.

But four-time world champion Vettel argued the errors were not as significant as Mercedes' ability to establish a pace advantage from Singapore onwards.

Asked if Germany or Italy was the season's defining moment, he replied: "None of the two, to be honest, for me it was more Singapore.

"From Singapore onwards we just didn't have the pace to keep up with Mercedes for a couple of races, and then obviously some other things happened on top that didn't help.

"We couldn't score the points due to mistakes that we did, mistakes that I did.

"I can't be too hard on myself with what happened in Germany because I've done much bigger mistakes this year, but obviously it was the most costly one.

"It's part of racing: when you push you might be sometimes pushing a little bit too hard."

shares
comments
Mercedes denies wheel rims caused 'F3' performance in Mexico
Previous article

Mercedes denies wheel rims caused 'F3' performance in Mexico

Next article

Robert Kubica in frame for 2019 Ferrari F1 team development role

Robert Kubica in frame for 2019 Ferrari F1 team development role
Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

A testing return to the Singapore Grand Prix in tricky conditions created plenty of hazards and mistakes for the Formula 1 drivers to fall into. That partly explains a number of low scores, including from a handful of high profile runners, allowing others to take a starring role under the floodlights

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP Plus

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP

In a marathon Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez’s victory was only assured hours after the race due to a stewards investigation. Throughout the contest the Red Bull driver impressively held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in changing conditions to see the Mexican pull out enough of an advantage to negate his post-race penalty

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams Plus

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams

What happens, asks MATT KEW, if the old adage of win on a Sunday, sell on a Monday is no longer true for F1 manufacturers?

Formula 1
Oct 2, 2022
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance Plus

How de Vries made himself impossible to ignore for a belated F1 chance

Nyck de Vries appeared to have missed his opportunity to break into Formula 1 as he was passed over for more exciting talents who have now become frontrunners and title fighters. But after catching the eye outside of the F1 sphere, before his stunning impromptu grand prix debut in Italy, will it lead to a delayed full-time race seat?

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022
Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment? Plus

Can Hamilton produce another Singapore magic moment?

The Singapore Grand Prix has, explains BEN EDWARDS, played an important role in Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 career. As the series returns to the Marina Bay Street Circuit for the first time in three years, he faces the latest challenge with an underperforming Mercedes car

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2022
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2022