Sebastian Vettel has proclaimed that he could beat anyone on the F1 grid as the German fired back at criticism that he struggled to cope with the pressure of new teammate Charles Leclerc.
Speaking to German publication Motorsport Magazin, Vettel has defended himself in particular on his 2014 season where he was beaten by then-teammate Daniel Ricciardo by seventy-one points which many say caused the German’s move to Ferrari.
“I don’t see it that way at all, I understand that people refer to 2014,” said Vettel. “I lost on paper and it’s fair to say that because the numbers say I lost to Daniel [Ricciardo], but I also know that in 2014 some things did not go as we hoped they would, my primary goal in 2014 was not to stand on the podium or to finish fifth. My goal was to win races.”
“Perhaps my attitude at that time was slightly different from Daniel’s, but more than that, 2014 was not a great year, I don’t want to say that I was out of luck, but I was let down a few times, the car didn’t work as it should and so on. That may distort the picture and the numbers.”
Vettel also briefly reflected on 2019 as he further boasted that he wasn’t afraid of the competition.
“It’s important that I know how the year went and how I feel about it, I witnessed Daniel’s success in 2014 first hand and as his teammate, I still do that, I have no problem with that, But, I’m also confident that I can beat anyone who drives out there, I’m not afraid of the competition,the contrary would make no sense, If you want to win and fear competition, these are two things that don’t go together.”