Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel was clearly heartbroken following the conclusion of the 2017 Mexican Grand Prix, knowing that he was no longer in the fight for the 2017 title, despite his best efforts in what was a difficult race for both championship protagonists.
“I know the team has been working hard, doing their best, but we didn’t achieve what we wanted to.
“It’s hard to cross the line realizing that you are not in the fight anymore. I fought to the end, giving everything I had.”
An early coming together with Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen and Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Lewis Hamilton, saw the German lose his front wing as the trio dueled it out for first place off the start at turn one, and went three cars wide.
The German clipped the back of both of his rivals as he tried to hold position, making things far from easy for the Ferrari man, nonetheless the German still believed he could achieve the first or second place required to keep the championship race alive, right up until the chequered flag fell.
Though he fought hard to make his way back through the field having made an early pit stop after destroying his front wing in the start line antics, which also punctured Hamilton’s tyre, he could only salvage fourth place, which was not enough to stop the Brit from securing his fourth world championship, shattering Vettel’s hopes of a fifth title.
“Then obviously in the last laps, when I had a big gap to Kimi, it would have been difficult for me to close it without something happening, like a Safety Car, but I was still believing. But in the end it didn’t happen.
“For sure it is not a great day for us, but it’s not about us today, it’s about Lewis and I congratulate him.”
Although it was not the result Ferrari or Vettel were hoping for on Sunday, the German felt the season so far had been primarily positive, with all signs pointing to a more competitive future for the Italian squad.
“Tomorrow you wake up and it will be a different day. The team is growing, and there are many positive aspects. Overall, I think we are on the right path.”