Sebastian Vettel says uncertainty over the Italian Grand Prix’s future places greater importance on a strong Ferrari showing at Monza this weekend.
The race in Italy has a contract until 2019. Organizers are seeking a reduction in the race fee on its next contract due to escalating costs, but that means negotiations need to take place with Formula 1’s commercial rights holder Liberty Media. Having won in Belgium, Vettel is hopeful that another victory at Monza would be beneficial to the race’s future as well as for his own title aspirations.
“I think we have a good car that seems to work everywhere,” Vettel said. “I don’t think the car was there right from the beginning, but I think we’ve got it now to a point where it seems to work everywhere and we are competitive.
“So I hope it helps Monza to boost the race. I’m sure we will get a lot of support, but I also hope it helps Monza stay on the calendar for a long time because I heard some rumors, so…
“I’m looking forward to going to Italy. Obviously I spend quite a bit of time there, but racing in Italy is special for us with Ferrari. It’s our home race so it should be a lot of fun. I think it will be nice anyway to go to Monza. If you are dressed in the right color – which I am – then I think Monza is always an absolute highlight. As a racing driver, I don’t think it gets any better than that.
“Now maybe with a win [at Spa] just a week before the race, maybe it does get better. I’m curious. But for us it’s a great race.”
Vettel believes the versatility of this year’s Ferrari, which looks capable of challenging for victory on every track, will be key to winning the championship.
“We had our deficits last year,” he said. “I think we had a car that worked really well on twisty tracks where a lot of downforce was required. But we were missing out on tracks where the car needs to be more efficient, like [Spa], like Silverstone usually and a couple of other tracks.
“This year the car seems to be more robust in that regard and seems to work everywhere. Needless to say, we improved the package as well – the power unit – so on all fronts, we’ve done a step forward. But it is a key to have a car that works everywhere, because that has been our weakness and I think we tackled it fairly well.”