Sebastian Vettel insists he has not forgotten how to drive despite a lacklustre 2020 Formula 1 season that saw him finish only once on the podium and end a lowly thirteenth in the Drivers’ Championship.
The German, who leaves Scuderia Ferrari for Aston Martin Racing for 2021, says he made mistakes during his time with the Italian team both on and off the track, but he still believes he can race at the highest level despite his frustrating 2020 campaign.
“When you are self-critical, you always have doubts,” Vettel said to Sportbuzzer. “I have not forgotten how to drive, but rather analyse why I was not able to use my skills 100%.
“Of course, sometimes you get in your own way. There are sure to be things I did wrong. Sometimes the access, sometimes the way you talk to people, sometimes the things you see as a priority. As frustrating as it may be at the moment, I think that’s all part of life.”
Vettel finished third in the wet Turkish Grand Prix for his final podium finish with Ferrari, but he was outraced and outperformed by team-mate Charles Leclerc throughout the season and will be replaced by Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr. for 2021.
The thirty-three-year-old says his time and experiences with Ferrari have shaped him, even though he was not able to bring that elusive World Championship to Maranello through his six years with the team.
“These experiences have shaped me,” said Vettel. “Of course, there was no real big success, there were ups and downs. But both belong together. There are no highs without lows and no lows without highs.
“There are enough reasons for one or the other, but I wouldn’t say I regret anything from that time. On the contrary, I think I learned a lot. Not just for the next project, but for life as a whole.
“Above all, dealing with people. A lot happened not only on the track but also off it. I’m not in my twenties anymore, I’m in my thirties and the last five or six years have shaped me a lot.”
Vettel competed in one hundred and nineteen starts for Ferrari, winning fourteen times, but his best finish in the championship was second place in 2017 and 2018, both behind Lewis Hamilton.