Vettel: Last Ferrari step back to winning F1 titles will be hardest

Ferrari's final step back to becoming a Formula 1 world champion again will be the hardest, admits Sebastian Vettel

Vettel: Last Ferrari step back to winning F1 titles will be hardest

Though Ferrari made a huge improvement in 2017 to go from a winless '16 F1 season to challenging Mercedes for the title, it has still not taken a driver to the championship since Kimi Raikkonen's 2007 success or won a constructors' crown since '08.

Vettel believes Ferrari can carry its momentum from last year into 2018, but acknowledged going from underdog title challenger to being capable of ending Mercedes' four-season run of championship doubles was another step.

"Obviously the regulations stay roughly the same. I think we have a good and healthy platform to build on at the beginning of the year so I hope we can continue," said Vettel.

"What we have to do is take that final step. If you look back it's always that final step that's the hardest.

"There's a lot of work going on already and for the last couple of months focusing on next year, trying to make the car faster, with more power into the power unit, and then we'll see where we are."

Prior to 2017, Ferrari had not been in a championship fight since Fernando Alonso's 2010 near-miss and his shock title shot in '12 (above) in a car that was rarely a match for the frontrunners.

It was the first time Vettel had been a title contender since the last of his four straight successes with Red Bull in 2013.

"In the end as a driver you want to win, and obviously when you are competitive at the beginning you don't know if it will be enough to fight for the championship," he said.

"Usually it's a no-brainer: if the car is quick and you are doing your job well then as the season progress it will lead you to good news or bad news.

"For the most of it I think it's been good news.

"There were a couple of weeks that were quite painful for us, but overall it's always great if you have a package that you can take to the fight."

shares
comments
How Mercedes built an unstoppable F1 force
Previous article

How Mercedes built an unstoppable F1 force

Next article

Nurburgring in talks for return to Formula 1 calendar in 2019

Nurburgring in talks for return to Formula 1 calendar in 2019
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022