Sebastian Vettel wants Ferrari to stay aggressive in order to overhaul Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship, despite its struggles in Singapore.
Following Hamilton’s victory in the Singapore Grand Prix, Vettel is now 40 points adrift in the standings with six races remaining. Having started from third place, Ferrari opted for ultrasoft tires at the first pit stop on Sunday to try and undercut Hamilton, and although he ended up losing a place to Max Verstappen after being caught in traffic and finishing a distant third, it’s an approach Vettel is happy to continue with.
“We’re not playing a silly game, we’re quite serious and it’s quite tough competition, so the level of competition is very high and if you have the slightest mistake obviously there are people there who are usually there to benefit from it,” Vettel said. “You know the race that we had showed that Max was there straight away to benefit.
“Maybe sometimes you are lucky and it’s not showing as crucial but (in Singapore) it caught us and what we tried didn’t work and also caught us out so it didn’t help but I’m happy to try, I’m happy to try being aggressive to try and win. That was the ambition and especially on a track where it’s difficult to pass you need to try and figure something out.”
If Hamilton wins one more race, then he will be able to finish second to Vettel in the other five rounds and clinch the title. But the German says the fact that he can still overtake the defending champion by winning every race himself gives Ferrari a clear target.
“It’s not what we wanted, in the end it’s what we got so we need to look back and see what we could have done better. I think overall we had a good car, we were a bit slower but we had a different race as well so it’s difficult to compare, but we can’t say we did everything right. I think where we were, we tried, it didn’t work. We started third and finished third, we didn’t lose anything but we also didn’t gain anything.
“We are a team so we try and whatever we want to achieve, we achieve it together. Obviously it’s not great when you come to the end of the championship and you’re losing points rather than making up points, but we still have a lot of races left and some time to go.
“I think it’s pretty straightforward, if we win every race from now then we are safe. So that’s what we need to aim for.”