Sebastian Vettel has acknowledged he needs to do a better job in the second half of the Formula 1 season after failing to win a race before the mid-season break.
Ferrari has three pole positions to its name so far this year but two of them have been secured by Charles Leclerc, with Vettel’s only pole in Canada yielding him second place in the race after picking up a time penalty. Vettel also hit Max Verstappen during the British Grand Prix and was off the pace in Bahrain, and the four-time world champion says it’s on him to raise his game.
“I need to be critical of myself because here and there I didn’t do the best job,” Vettel said. “So that’s something that I need to focus on and need to get better in the second half of the season. Other than that I think it was a bit up and down — some races were better, some races were worse. Certainly the last couple of races were maybe a bit better for me, whereas some races in the beginning I struggled a bit more when we tried a lot of things.
“I think it’s clear that we are not where we want to be. You look at the points table, you look at the race (in Hungary), you look at the areas in tracks where we are lacking compared to others. We are addressing those things and we are working very hard.
“I don’t think we are short of commitment. People are very passionate so I think the key now is to remain calm, do our homework and obviously try and catch up as much as we can.”
Vettel has finished on the podium at each of the last two races and overtook Leclerc late on in Hungary, and team principal Mattia Binotto says his experience is helping him gain a slight advantage over a race distance.
“With Seb, his pace in the race is always very strong,” Binotto said. “He is aware that it is important for him to capitalize on his race pace, so obviously when you do you may do some mistakes, like in Silverstone. Because he has a lot of experience, he knows how to manage the tires and I think this is where his strengths are and I think he is doing very well in that respect.
“Charles, it’s his first year in Ferrari with a lot of pressure. He’s done a few mistakes but he’s always very keen to learn and not repeat what he did (wrong). We are very happy with the way he is integrating into the team and the progress he’s making.”