Sebastian Vettel finished his 2017 Formula One season with what he described as a lonely race, finishing the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in a distant third place behind the two Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers.
The Scuderia Ferrari had looked off the pace of the Mercedes all weekend, with Vettel qualifying third and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in fifth. This deficit was exacerbated at the start of the race, as both Ferrari drivers were forced to save fuel, meaning that Vettel was too far behind to challenge and too far ahead to have to defend.
“I was pretty lonely for most of the race, trying to save a bit of fuel in the first part of the final stint. It was not very exciting, but that’s how it goes sometimes!” commented Vettel.
“The results have been worse than they could have been, but in the end we weren’t strong enough. However, it’s against the spirit of Ferrari to give up. I am sure we have a lot of things to improve and the people are very motivated. So, I am looking forward to next season. We had our chances and we took them, but we also made little mistakes here and there and I am sure they won’t happen anymore.”
Vettel had been in the running to win his fifth World Championship and his first with Ferrari but after the summer break, his challenge somewhat unravelled through a combination of crashes and mechanical issues.
“I think we didn’t lose the Championship in any particular race; you just race and collect all the points, and in our case, we didn’t have enough. I promise to push next year and do my best together with the whole team, and then we’ll see.
This year we improved massively on the car; the chassis has been really strong since the first day. We made some major steps on the engine, but we still need to find some more power compared to our competitors. However, the most important thing is to focus on where we want to be as a team.”