Sebastian Vettel believes that developing a even quicker car for the 2019 Formula 1 Season is more important for Scuderia Ferrari‘s title hopes, rather than limiting the amount of mistakes.
Both Ferrari and Vettel had made multiple errors throughout the 2018 season, which in turn cost them both the drivers’ and constructors championship to Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport.
The Italian team developed what some described as ‘the best car’ and Vettel swapped the championship lead with Hamilton throughout the first half of the season. But after Vettel’s race-ending crash at the German Grand Prix whilst leading the race, plus multiple incidents that cost the German driver ground, Ferrari and Vettel lost out in 2018.
Vettel told Racer.com that he feels that developing a faster package is more crucial than reducing the amount of mistakes on track.
“I think we need a stronger package,” said Vettel. “We certainly had our moments this year when we had strong races but we also had races which weren’t very strong.
“We weren’t quick enough, so I think overall it’s the speed that decides and I think more often than not I think we’re lacking a little bit of speed. I think we’re working very hard and the motivation is there to do that final step that is still outstanding.”
Vettel lost crucial points in Germany, Italy, Japan and USA during his title battle with Hamilton as both were seeking to win their fifth world championship.
The German added that he feels the team’s overall performance are often placed solely on the driver, believing that the impact of the whole team is often overshadowed.
“What you look at in terms of when you look in qualifying or the race, then obviously we are the ones driving the car and we are alone driving the car and when we cross the line you look at us first, but there’s a lot of people behind to make sure that you do cross the line and if they do their job really really well and work together then you have a high chance of finishing higher up.
“So I think it’s needless to say that Lewis had an incredible run the last five years…since the day he joined Formula 1 until now, to be honest. They’re doing a really good job as a team. The challenge to beat such a strong team is difficult but that’s our target.”
The 2019 season will see a new team-mate arrive for Vettel at Ferrari with Charles Leclerc joining as Kimi Räikkönen goes the other direction to Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.
As preparations begin for the 2019 season, Vettel says the team knows where to go and that they’ve learned their lessons again from 2019, hoping to bring the challenge until the final race of the season next year.
“We know where we want to go. A lot of work ahead of us, a lot of lessons to be learned again this year. We have 21 races and in summary, we haven’t been strong enough this year to take the challenge until the last race, the last lap, so I think we need to look at ourselves.”