Sebastian Vettel insists he will not quit until he wins a drivers’ championship with Ferrari after missing out on this year’s title to Lewis Hamilton.
Mexico saw Hamilton wrap up his fifth drivers’ championship and second in succession as Vettel and Ferrari’s challenge again faded after the summer break. Downbeat after the last race, Vettel says his motivation remains as high as ever to hit back next season.
“I still have a mission here and I still want to win,” Vettel said. “That hasn’t changed. Obviously the last race was a tough one to swallow and probably the winter will be as well. Giving up is not an option.”
Vettel believes his hardest championship defeat to accept was in 2009, when he was still chasing his first title.
“Three times now I have been in a position like that, with 2017, ’09 and this year, so probably ’09 was the worst one, the lowest point. You never know what the next year brings so you never know whether you get another chance. I have worked very hard for it and I am confident it will come but ultimately I don’t know, you can’t predict. None of those moments were nice.”
The constructors’ championship is yet to be decided with Ferrari cutting the gap to Mercedes to 55 points over the past two races, and Vettel says the recent form — with Kimi Raikkonen winning in Austin and both cars on the podium in Mexico — gives him confidence the team can take the fight to the final round.
“We have two more races to go and we try to do the best we can and fight for the constructors’ – that’s what we focus on. We will try to outscore them by as many points as we can and we will see where we end up.
“It is difficult to predict, but we have got the car back to what we know and what we feel more comfortable with at the last two races, so hopefully we can keep that up and keep competitive here and in Abu Dhabi and give them a very hard time.
“Here it is always difficult to predict because in Interlagos there is something magical about this place and things happen. We will see how it turns out.”