Ferrari still has "a lot to unleash" with 2018 car - Vettel

Sebastian Vettel has promised Ferrari has “a lot of potential to unleash” when the Formula 1 season resumes after the summer break.

Ferrari still has "a lot to unleash" with 2018 car - Vettel

The four-time world champion trails Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton by 24 points after last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, while Ferrari has a 10-point deficit in the constructors’ championship.

Ferrari has made strong progress with its car and engine as the season has developed and Vettel should be ahead in the championship but for his crash while leading last month’s German Grand Prix, which allowed Hamilton to steal an unlikely victory.

Both manufacturers will be introducing what should be their final engine upgrades of the season at either the Belgian or Italian GPs after the break.

Asked by Motorsport.com about the momentum in the title battle, Vettel said: “As we’ve seen this year the pendulum seems to swing once this side, once that side.

“If it’s like this, consistency is the key. I didn't do myself a favour [in Germany] but I think it’s part of racing, stuff happens.

“Compared to last year, we lost the championship I think because our car wasn’t quick enough to be a match in the final part of the season, despite what happened with the DNFs.

“This year has shown so far that our car is more efficient, our car is stronger and still has a lot of potential to unleash.

“I’m quite confident with what’s sitting in the pipeline that we can improve. It should be an exciting second part of the year.”

Last season Vettel’s victory in Hungary meant he headed into the summer break with a 14-point lead over Hamilton, but Ferrari’s challenge faltered.

Hamilton went on a three-race winning streak when the season resumed and took further victories in Japan and the United States.

By contrast, Vettel won just once more as a startline crash with teammate Kimi Raikkonen and reliability problem in Japan helped curtail his challenge.

Hamilton said the ups and downs experienced so far in 2018 countered any expectation the second half of the season would go like last year and he did “absolutely not” feel like he was beginning to take control of the title fight.

“It’s far too early,” he said. “I don’t believe there’s ever a moment that you’ve got your hands on the title or the trophy.

“We’ve got a long, long way still to go. A lot can happen but what’s really important is that we continue to keep up the pressure and keep working as we have done until now.

“There’s nothing we really need to alter. I think our work ethic has been very strong and the team morale is better than ever, the spirit is better than ever.

“We came to the last race, they kind of blew us away a little bit in qualifying, they would have done here had it been dry.

“I’m not really certain what to expect.”

shares
comments
Norris says year away from McLaren is an option

Previous article

Norris says year away from McLaren is an option

Next article

Haas renews interest in Fittipaldi F1 test

Haas renews interest in Fittipaldi F1 test
Load comments
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Prime

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021
Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems Prime

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated the opening day of action for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, on the Istanbul circuit’s much improved track surface. But the Black Arrows squad’s position isn’t quite what it seems. Here’s why...

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021
The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower Prime

The rise and fall of Lotus as an F1 superpower

On 8 October 1961, Innes Ireland claimed victory at the United States Grand Prix to herald the true arrival of a new Formula 1 giant. While Team Lotus endured plenty of highs and lows until the team folded over three decades later, Colin Chapman's squad made F1 history and helped shape the championship.

Formula 1
Oct 8, 2021