Sebastian Vettel wants Ferrari to keep improving its car to finish the season in a more competitive position even though the championship is effectively out of reach.
Ferrari has won each of the last two races — courtesy of Charles Leclerc — on low-downforce circuits that suited its low-drag aerodynamic approach, but they were its first two wins of the season as it currently sits 154 points behind Mercedes in the constructors’ championship. With Lewis Hamilton also 102 points clear of Leclerc in the drivers’ standings, Vettel says Ferrari still needs to show improvements throughout the remainder of 2019.
“Going forwards, we’re not favorites for the championship — we’re far, far away,” Vettel said. “You don’t need to be clever to make it out. We still have some races coming up where we will be more competitive than others. Overall, it’s about getting a good weekend. I think the speed is there, so I’m not worried, it’s just putting the things together.
“On the other hand, we need to make sure we’re developing the car in the right way to make sure we’re more competitive at the end of the season than what we are now. These types of tracks (low downforce) might favor us a bit more than others.”
One aspect of Ferrari that has been showing improvement during this year is Vettel’s teammate Leclerc, who believes he has proven some of his critics wrong with his recent victories.
“It feels good,” Leclerc said. “It was not an easy start to the season — I made a few mistakes, but it is not an excuse. I’ve grown a lot since the beginning of the season. I understood the critics from last year, saying me being too young, as it being my second year in F1 and in Ferrari already was early for sure, but I can only thank Ferrari for believing in me.
“They had a lot of data which they analyzed. It was not an easy decision. In the end, I’m happy to have these kinds of results which show that I was maybe more ready than some people thought.”