Sebastian Vettel admits the final races of the Formula 1 season have been helping distract him from the disappointment of losing out on this year’s drivers’ championship.
Lewis Hamilton secured his fourth drivers’ title in Mexico at the end of October, despite Vettel having led the standings from the opening race until the end of the European season at the start of September. Reflecting on how the year had turned around, the Ferrari driver admits having races still to run has kept his mind off the missed opportunity so far.
“Well, I think it’s a good job that we have races now because it helps to sort of get over it because you’re distracted, I guess,” Vettel said. “I think it’s tough. Obviously in the past you didn’t have to deal with this, so it’s not to say I was quite fortunate but I think it helps to just have something to do, to be honest.
“Overall I think it was very positive this year. Nobody expected Ferrari to be that strong. We made the biggest step – there was a lot of talk about other people but in the end we were there from the start and also until the end. We had two races to go, we are in a position to fight for victory, we won [in Brazil], two cars on the podium. I think there’s a lot of positives.”
While describing his disappointment at losing out on the championship, Vettel believes the progress made by Ferrari since the end of 2016 has been overlooked and suggests the team will be even tougher competition for Mercedes next year.
“Of course if you miss out it sort of sucks, there’s no other way, but you have to be fair as well. We hadn’t been very competitive last year; we hadn’t been very good developing the car and we’ve made massive progress this year, so even if you look at the chance that maybe you missed, you have to give credit to all the people, to all the team for the step that we made.
“I think we can all feel that we’re getting stronger so hopefully we can carry that strength into the next couple of years, not just next year, not just the winter but also the future because I think our objective is to bring Ferrari back properly, get there and dominate. That’s what we want to do.”