Vettel believes Ferrari can raise its game at Suzuka

2017 Japanese Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari will be stronger at Suzuka this weekend despite not having been competitive at the track recently.

“In the last two years we have not been competitive enough here,” said Vettel. “But this year it may be different.” He qualified sixth and finished fourth in last year’s race, setting fastest lap on the way.

“I am fairly open minded, but I’m convinced that we have a strong package. There are five races to go in the championship and we are behind in the points standings: the final outcome will also depend on what our competitors do.”

Vettel has fallen 34 points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton. If he doesn’t reduce Hamilton’s lead by at least six points this weekend Vettel could win all of the remaining races and still lose the title.

“I believe we still have a chance and I want to be sure we’re going to use it,” said Vettel.

“We’ve been looking at the issues we had in our cars and I think we have a pretty good understanding of them. But the process is still ongoing in order to get the big picture of what happened.”

Having inspected the damage to Vettel’s car following his collision with Lance Stroll in Malaysia, Ferrari has determined they will not need to change his gearbox, sparing him a five-place grid penalty.

“At least it’s nice to hear that the gearbox should be OK after the accident on the slow-down lap at Sepang,” Vettel added.

2017 Japanese Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    13 comments on “Vettel believes Ferrari can raise its game at Suzuka”

    1. On the other side of the coin (and I don’t know if this is worth noting, given the change in regs), unlike the last couple of GPs, the Silver Arrows have a 100% success rate in the hybrid era at the remaining circuits.

      1. @tomd11 so were Austria, Bahrain, Baku(although it just started last year) and Monaco
        Vettel has the most wins at Singapore and Malaysia and should have won both circuits on paper and look at what happened. Just saying that nothing can be taken for granted

    2. My prediction: 1. VET, 2. HAM, 3.VER

    3. So that means Vettel wins and Kimi tries his best to hold up Hamilton ?

      Tough but achievable

      1. @redbullf1

        Kimi needs to be in front of Hamilton to hold him up. Can’t see that happening unless they keep Kimi out on used tyres for ages, to block Lewis after a pit stop.

    4. Raise his game too? As in not driving into other cars?

      1. He’s tried going left into someone, and right into someone, and neither worked. Now he’s going to raise his game and go over someone.

    5. No more Mr. Nice guy! You can tell by the evil goatee!

    6. I’d say that he his the one who has to raise the game this weekend. These past two GPs were two waisted opportunities for Ferrari. Although in Malaysia it wasn’t his fault that he had to start last, the crash with Stroll, and the one at the start of the Singapore GP, just seem to show that he’s lost a bit of focus. It’s time that he regains his mojo so that he can take the fight to Hamilton in the championship.

    7. Raise your game all you want but we need Hamilton to have a major stuff up to keep it interesting. And twice for Vettel to have a shot at WDC.

      This season reminds me of 2012 with Alonso having the incidents of Spa and Japan.

    8. I think he can do it, I believe in him. I think it’s possible to take out of the race 3-4 drivers in just one big crash. Won’t be fair to Maldonado ’cause he cannot respond to this with some track action, but VET is the chosen one to steal the crown from Maldonado. Fingers crossed.

      1. I agree. I can completely see him go all gung-ho for the next few race starts and cause some serious crashes. It’s fairly obvious that it’s desperation time for him, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him try some Schumacher-esque tactics as well. Really looking forward to him throwing some massive radio tantrums for the rest of the season.

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