Sebastian Vettel is not banking on tyre performance as Scuderia Ferrari‘s strengths in 2018, despite the performance it showed last year.
The four-time world champion conducted plenty of tyre tests during the 2016 Formula 1 season, as preparation for Pirelli Motorsport to introduce the new wider and harder tyres for 2017. Vettel and Ferrari surprised everyone with a win at the Australian Grand Prix having gone longer on their tyres, a strong advantage the Italian team had compare to their rivals Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team.
Vettel would go on to win four more races to finish second in the Drivers’ championship, with only Lewis Hamilton beating him to claim his fourth world championship.
Speaking with Racer.com, Vettel was asked whether Ferrari had an advantage to its competitors with the Pirelli tyres, where the German replied: “Yes and No”.
“I think we had good races, we’ve had some bad races, so I don’t know, maybe overall there has been a trend for many years that overall the balance is positive, but we still have to work for it” said Vettel.
“We’ve had races where we’ve had more degradation than others, and if we are in a better shape, then that’s what we want, that’s where we want to be – not saying we take that for granted, but that’s the ambition.”
With improved aerodynamics and changes to the weight of the cars due to the introduction of the Halo, Vettel believes that operating the tyres will be different compare to the harder 2017 tyres.
“I think the cars are different, the weight changes slightly, the aerodynamics will be better, I think you will operate the tires also a bit different than what we have now.”