Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Singapore, 2018

Vettel: We need to win every race from now on

2018 Singapore Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari will aim to win the remaining six races of the season after falling further behind to Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship fight.

Vettel lost second place to Max Verstappen after an attempt to undercut Hamilton’s Mercedes with an early stop saw Vettel lose time behind Sergio Perez’s Force India.

With the gap to his championship rival now at a season-high 40 point margin, Vettel says Ferrari must now focus on winning each of the remaining rounds of the season.

“Obviously it’s not great when you come to the end of the championship and you’re losing points rather than making up points, but we still have a lot of races left and some time to go,” says Vettel.

“I think it’s pretty straight forward that if we win every race from now, we’re safe. So that’s what we need to aim for.”

With Ferrari’s strategy call appearing to have ultimately cost Vettel second place, Vettel admits that the gamble did not pay off for the team.

“It wasn’t looking too bad,” explains Vettel.

“We had a good first lap and we tried something – being aggressive – and it didn’t work and we ended up finishing third. So finishing where we started. Once we lost that second place, it’s clear that we just need to try and figure out how to make it to the end with those tyres – 45 laps or so. It was a long way.

“Looking back, there’s something we missed. But at the time I guess it felt like the right thing to do. We went for it, we tried, but it didn’t work. If it works, then it’s great. It didn’t work, it’s not great. Simple as that.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 98 comments on “Vettel: We need to win every race from now on”

      1. don’t laugh at other people’s math, he at least got that one right

      2. It just so happens that Lewis intends to win the next 6 races too…

    1. I think it’s pretty straight forward that if we win every race from now, we’re safe.

      Hamilton currently has 281 points to Vettel’s 241, a difference of 40 points. There are 6 races to go, meaning Vettel needs to earn 41 points in the next 6 races, which is roughly an average of about 7 points difference better than Hamilton per race. The difference between first and second is 7 points, so with 6 races to go this is theoretically possible.
      So far we’ve completed 15 races, so Hamilton with 281 points has an average of 18.73 points per race, or an average of second place. Vettel has 241 points, or an average of 16 points per race, which equates to an average of between second and third. While that’s doesn’t appear to be a huge gap between their performances, I think the gap is big enough to show that Vettel will probably finish this season behind Hamilton or struggle to finish ahead of him.

      1. And that’s with mechanical retirement for Ham and none for Vettel.

        1. If we ignore the root-cause of either Car failure or driver mistake they both have a DNF a piece. Let’s hope it stays that way for the rest of the season.

          1. if ham finish ahead (doesnt matter position) in next two races, hamilton can afford to get a new pu to start from the back and reliability/performance advantage till the end and turn up the engine a few knobs… cant say the same for vettel… he has higher chance to take some elements and incur penalty? and loose/risk more points than ham… that will play a hand at the end, as they all switched to their 3rd pu fairly early…

    2. He has the car and the skill to do so. If he wins every race he is champion. That is next to impossible but never count of the question potential reliability issues of both drivers as well as as other factors. I think whether Seb will win the title or not will be much more clear after Suzuka in my opinion.

      1. Its not impossible if they just relax. But Vettel and Ferrari just seem to find a way to put themselves under unnecessary pressure. Hamilton went for a fashion show just before the race and I thought he’d be jetlagged or under perform, but he nailed the weekend. But it seems all the meditation Vettel and Feerrari do just leads to confusion.

        1. Singapore is all on Ferrari though. Vettel did everything as he should have. He overtook Max, controlled the pace behind Lewis without pushing too much but everything was destroyed by Ferrari’s awful strategy. Saving the tyres and limitin the damage was the best thing he could do.

          But yeah they need to calm down. The lost two races in a row and both have been potentially lost due to strategic mistakes. They need to learn and they still have time in order to come back strong and pose a challenge. It isn’t as if Seb hasn’t done it before. In 2012 he was +40 points behind Alonso and won. However, Hamilton and Merc is a different beast to Alonso and that dog of a car he had.

        2. Everything is easy in Hamilton’s life last and this year.
          He is winning very easy, effortless. He is simply successful even when 5 or 6 leading cars are out. He is such lucky person who is winning even when he really does not deserve or expect it. He is winning even when his team is not performing well.
          If Michael Schumacher was around, Lewis would win again. Simply, it looks like these victories are attributed to POWER, not himself. However somebody wants to name it….
          He is surrounded by professionals in their job.
          Toto Wolff must be congratulated either.
          On the other hand, Sebastian Vettel is excellent in his job but surrounded by incompetent group of people. German National anthem performed for Mercedes aches him the most. German car is intended to be driven by German expert….at least
          Maurizio Arrivabene is killing Ferrari and he should see red light as soon as possible.
          He is wasting the best years of Sebastian and Kimi as well.
          Christian Horner is an expert with his experience, calmness and knowledge.
          Ross Brawn wss with M. Schumacher.
          Sebastian must have person similar two these two personalities if he is to win with Ferrari.
          Very sad……

          1. Ham has had his share of bad luck/poor performances as well as fortune which happens to all drivers. This year is anything but easy and the VET/HAM points graph shows that. What appears to be different is that Mercedes are doing something about it and have learnt from the problems they’ve experienced this year. Plus you give Ham a car he’s happy with he’ll produce laps similar to the one that secured pole position in Singapore, which i don’t think was easy.

            “…Sebastian Vettel is excellent in his job but surrounded by incompetent group of people…”

            Vet has access to, arguably, the best car on the grid, incompetence couldn’t have granted him that. But this should prove having the fastest car alone isn’t enough to win. The entire team, driver, management, engineering staff, etc needs to be all on their ‘A’ game to win or at least be in a good position to be successful.

            You other points either don’t make sense or just plain wrong.

      2. That’s 2013 levels of performance from him, he might have the skill and might have the car, but mentally I don’t think he can do it

      3. @panagiotism-papatheodorou, it is not impossible, and there is of course the question of whether either one of those two drivers could have a DNF which could have a dramatic impact on the points situation.

        However, if both Hamilton and Vettel have normal races in the final six races, the odds do seem to be against Vettel. As Joao notes, it would require a level of performance that he’s only managed once before, back in 2013, and that was with a car advantage that he does not seem to be enjoying now.

        This season, he’s not picked up back to back wins since the opening two races – he hasn’t even managed to achieve more than two back to back top three finishes at any point so far this season. Whilst it is possible he could score six back to back victories, it would require a considerable improvement in his consistency to a level that we’ve not seen in years.

        As others have noted, there is also the issue that there seems to be a bit of unease in the relationship between Vettel and Ferrari at the moment. He sounded a lot more dejected in Singapore, and the tyre strategy perhaps does underline that – whilst, in Bahrain, he was up for the challenge of eking the tyres out and even helped the team deceive Mercedes by giving deceptively positive radio messages, in Singapore he very quickly started questioning whether he could get to the end and had a much more negative attitude when faced with a similar situation.

        Now, that attitude might change rapidly if he were to win a few races, but he doesn’t seem to have that same sense of optimism and confidence that he had earlier this season that he will win races.

    3. The only way Vettel can win the championship now is if Lewis has reliability problems. In a straight fight, I just can’t see Vettel beating Hamilton in every race weekend. In Japan, USA and Brazil I expect Lewis to have a car as good as the Ferrari, so it’s highly unlikely the Vettel will come out on top on all 3 of those occasions.

      1. Abu Dhabi is a circuit where Ferraris havent done too well. Brazil if it’s dry it would be a Ferrari track(like last year) but if it rains then RBR and Mercs will be hard to beat same story with Japan if it rains then Merc and RBR will be the cars to beat.

        1. Traditionally, Ferrari hasn’t done well at Abu dhabi, but this season they have a car that capitalizes on the circuit layout. Abi dhabi needs a car with great straight line speed and a peak power advantage (which seems to be Ferrari right now). It also needs a car that is quick in some tight and twisty medium to slow speed corners (which is also Ferrari).

          Japan and Brazil it should be tight at the front in dry conditions.. Maybe with a slight advantage to Ferrari, but as you mentioned, if it rains, it’s advantage to the better driver.

          1. @todfod Only in sector 2 really. Apart from the middle sector, that circuit is full of corners, so not really a power-circuit.

            1. @jerejj

              Agree. But most of the corners in sector 3 are really tight and slow (similar to Baku, Singapore and Monaco) where Ferrari has proven to be stronger.

              If I had to guess – Merc will be quickest in Sector 1, Ferrari quickest in sector 2 and quickest in Sector 3.

            2. @todfod, the thing is, in Singapore Ferrari’s best sector was the first sector, where the corners are mostly, if not entirely, medium speed corners and you have two of the longer straights on the circuit. The timing from both qualifying and the race suggested that Vettel tended to be on a similar pace to Hamilton, or quicker, through the first sector, but was consistently losing time through the slower and more technical second and third sectors.

              Both Ferrari’s were the slowest of the top three teams in those sectors in qualifying – they were 4th and 5th quickest in the second sector and 5th and 6th quickest in the third sector, and were around three to four tenths off the best times in those sectors (being set by Verstappen and Hamilton).

              In Singapore, the slower and tighter sections of the track were their weakest points, not their strongest – if that performance carries on for the rest of the season, it looks more likely that Mercedes will be quicker in the third sector there and Ferrari would be the ones topping the first sector instead.

          2. @todfod True. Most of the corners (not only in sector 3 but the track as a whole) of the Yas Marina Circuit are slow-to-medium speed corners.

        2. Brazil was never Ferrari’s track last year, Bottas took pole and Hamilton finished less than 10 seconds off the lead despite starting from the back.

      2. I agree on Suzuka and Brazil. However, COTA is really dependent on engine power especially sector 1 & 2 so Ferrari could have the advantage. What do you think about Russia? They are long straights and yet slow and technical corners. Could Red Bull pose a threat?

        1. @panagiotism-papatheodorou Only sector 2 really. For the most part, COTA is an aero-circuit.

        2. @panagiotism-papatheodorou

          Kind of hard to say about COTA. It has long ,sweeping and fast corners which really suits Mercedes and there aren’t any unusually long straights like we have at Spa, Monza and Abu Dhabi where Ferrari can make up some time. Plus, Lewis has always been strong at COTA, so I do think that Mercedes should at least be neck and neck with Ferrari there.

          Russia seems to have the typical slow to medium speed corners and straights which should suit Ferrari again. I think the circuit characteristics are similar to Baku and Abu Dhabi in a lot of ways, where Ferrari can be strong. Again, not sure about Red Bull. I feel Singapore was their 2nd strongest track of the year after Monaco… and I don’t think they’ll be a serious threat to the #1 drivers at Ferrari or Mercedes in Russia. Maybe in Mexico Red Bull stand a stronger chance of a better finish.

          Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

          1. @todfod

            Kind of hard to say about COTA. It has long ,sweeping and fast corners which really suits Mercedes

            Ferrari isn’t bad in that area either, it was bloody quick in Silverstone which suggests that they will be quick again in COTA at least in the 1st/2nd sectors,However Hamilton threat in qualifying is real. Last year he was an Alien in the first sector, only Raikkonen was able to get close to him.

      3. @todfod then Raikonen could also outqualify Vettel. That would be a really painful team order to prevent him from a last Ferrari win before retiring.

        I don’t see Vettel taking this one in a straight fight against Lewis.

      4. @todfod
        Hamilton has never been particularly good around either Suzuka or Interlagos. Those were usually two of his weakest circuits relative to Rosberg.

        However, around Austin he is immense.

    4. Is it just me or has anyone realized that whenever Ferrari comes into a Grand Prix weekend as the “underdogs” (Australlia, China, Silverstone, Spa) they actually perform well, whereas when they come in overly-confident (Monza, Singapore), they get humiliated. I feel like the drivers and the team don’t work hard enough when they’re too confident.

      1. I think your uses of “underdogs” and “overly-Confident” are descriptions or attitudes ascribed to them by the media rather than the team’s actual feelings.

        And surely if that were true then the same could be said of Mercedes in reverse.

        1. Yup. Media really love narratives, and if there isn’t one, they make one up out of what little scraps they can.

    5. What I find amazing is that Bottas couldn’t attack Vettel even with his tyres fading.
      Because I believe Bottas had the yellow softs, but for some reason they didn’t work for him

      1. I noticed this too, Vettel lost 25 seconds to max due to managing his tyres but this was still faster than Bottas. Plus Ferrari are getting rid of a driver who’s ahead of Bottas in the championship, he has too many weekends where he can’t find the pace.

      2. I agree, I actually thought Vettel would finish P4. I’m surprised Bottas could not mount an attack, given how far ahead Hamilton managed to be with same tyres and car…

      3. I read in the race report by Joe Saward that apparently Bottas had a car issue that held him back in the race – not quite sure what that issue was though. @tango, @emu55, Ooliver

        1. That would explain the gap @bascb (though maybe not in quali)

          1. I think that in qualifying large part of the gap was just how Lewis really got everything right, could well have been 4-5 tenths IMO.

    6. I am a Ferrari fan but Hamilton deserves this years WDC, in cars that are very very closely matched, Seb is just not a match for Hamilton its as simple as that, Hamilton is the best driver on the grid and has been mesmerizing at times this years, Seb has had top class drives of course but mixed with a lot errors and no “wow moments” like Hamiltons quali or Monza overtake round the outside. 2018 is Hamiltons and rightly so.

      Looking to 2019, if Ferrari are to win the WDC they need to give Seb a car that is substantially better than the Merc to enable him to beat Hamiliton, unless of course LeClerc proves to be a driver capable of competing with Hamilton. I think Max has comparable talent to Lewis and could go toe to toe but that’s highly unlikely with a Honda engine in the back. Bottas is just not in the same league as Lewis and Gasly is a bot of an unknown but will likely be number 2 to max. Side note, Ferrari must also improve operationally.

      1. As a fellow Ferrari fan I agree. Seb is on par with Lewis when it comes to speed but the latter makes fewer mistakes. However, I don’t think anyone deserves the tile until it is won. If Vettel consinstely beats Hamilton from Russia and onwards who is to say the he doesn’t deserve it.

        1. Fair point and wouldn’t that be incredible for Ferrari, F1 and Seb fans to win 6 in a row and clinch the title on the last day but there is more chance of aliens landing mid race and abducting lance stroll haha.

          1. If ham becomes wdc it’s because vet failed to deliver.
            But let’s wait.. It is not over yet and ham is using the last parts of his pool.

      2. Looking to 2019, if Ferrari are to win the WDC they need to give Seb a car that is substantially better than the Merc to enable him to beat Hamiliton

        Well.. if that’s the case.. then I just don’t see how Vettel is a good fit for Ferrari. Since 2004, Ferrari hasn’t made a single car that is substantially better than the rest. They had a slightly better car than Renault in 2006, and a slightly better car than McLaren in 2008. They haven’t been able to deliver a massive performance advantage to their drivers like Red Bull and Mercedes have over the past 9 seasons, and it seems unlikely they will do so before 2021 at least.

        Honestly, I don’t think Vettel is capable of beating drivers like Hamilton, Alonso and Verstappen in equal machinery. We’ve only seen Vettel win championships and find a dominant rhythm when he has a significant car advantage. When he’s been given a car that’s as good as the best, or maybe narrowly better than the rest, he seems to fall short of expectations.

        Ferrari need a driver who can fight tooth and nail even when the machinery is not there, and capitalise with ease when the car is capable of taking poles and wins. Most importantly, Ferrari need a driver who doesn’t crack under pressure. Ferrari’s #1 driver to be the highest performing individual in the entire team. They had that with Michael and Fernando, but they don’t have it with Vettel.

        1. I agree, I have said much the same on this forum after races. As a Ferrari fan I hope LeClerc is that high performing individual you speak of, if hes not Ferrari may have to open the checkbook for Max or they wont win a WDC as long as Merc are close and Lewis is behind the wheel.

        2. I don’t fully agree with your assessment of Vettel there, it seems to be tainted by recent events a tad too much. He did come behind to win the championship in both 2010 and 2012. In 2010 the Red Bull was the quickest car but had a lot of problems and he had to deal with a very competitive team mate in Webber, who actually was almost the entire year ahead of Vettel in the standings. In 2012 the Red Bull was no quicker than the McLaren, although the McLaren was terrible reliability wise – that year Hamilton could well have won if not for all the gremlins he suffered (Singapore and Abu Dhabi alone cost him 50 points). In that year Vettel just put together a string of consecutive wins at the end of the year, which shows that up until that point things were very well balanced among the top teams.

          What I think the main difference is is the environment in which he is. Just look at how Hamilton flourished in Mercedes by being allowed to do whatever he wants with his free time. Ferrari are a lot more strict and old-fashioned in that regard. Besides, Mercedes have had such a structure in place for a couple of years now that allows Hamilton that freedom, instead of having to be around constantly to have his team at a top level. Ferrari have been building up towards that same level since 2014, and they have done a great job since then, but they still aren’t at that same level as a team. Even Martin Brundle said over the weekend, how he felt that Vettel was having the need to guide his team through procedures which shouldn’t be on a drivers mind. This kind of thing surely must be a distraction and a source of stress, which more frequently than not puts you in a bad place and makes you prone to mistakes. So we can blame Vettel all we want because of his blunders, most noticeably in Germany or Italy, but some of the things are on the team as well. One can only imagine how worlds apart must it be to drive for a well-tuned operation like Red Bull/Mercedes or for Ferrari.

          Regarding your last point, why should they rely on a driver to put in 110% because of the teams own faults, be it strategy or car related? We all know that most of the times the driver with the best car wins, simple than that. Schumacher had the best car all those years that he won, so it’s a bit disingenuous to make that comparison between that trio. Even Alonso with all his heroics couldn’t win a championship with them. And I bet you he much rather have had the team giving him a great car so that he could manage things easily rather than the situations he went through. Mercedes still had the best car overall last year, and this year it is at least equal between Mercedes and Ferrari. So your premise just doesn’t make any sense. Any team should aspire to be the best in all areas and have all their individuals performing at their highest level, instead of counting on a single one to cover up for the others’ shortcomings. This leads to synergies, which is the point at which Mercedes are, and Ferrari are not.

          1. no, not tainted by recent events, tainted by his profile picture.

            1. @johnmilk

              Dude.. that’ completely unfair. It’s a fair assessment / opinion of Vettel’s previous records. I’m saying he can be a great driver.. but that’s when he has a car advantage (like in 2011 and 2013). But when he’s not got a dominant car.. he just doesn’t seem special.

              You can blame it on my profile picture.. but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s an honest assessment.

            2. @todfod
              you know I like messing with you mate
              It’s a fair assessment but a bit blown out of proportion.
              Have you seen that tweeter page that rates dogs? Same with drivers, including Vettels
              They are good dogs

              Sorry drivers

          2. Well.. I’ll have to disagree with your assessment as well. Vettel won the titles in 2010 because he had a car significantly quicker than both Ferrari and McLaren. And that’s the primary reason. Regarding having Webber as a competitive teammate.. well… Webber took more points off Alonso and Hamilton than Button and Massa took off Vettel. So, it wasn’t as much of a disadvantage as you might think.

            In 2012, Webber was actually ahead of Vettel in the points during the halfway point in the season, when the Red Bull was competitive but not dominant. When Red Bull found it’s pace advantage, that’s when Vettel got his act together and put together a strong of race wins. The Red Bull was massively faster than the Ferrari thoughout 2012 and was massively more reliable than Hamilton’s McLaren as well. There is no way that championship should have even gone to the last race of the season. A driver of Alonso’s or Hamilton’s calibre in that 2010 or 2012 Red Bull would have won with a couple of races to spare.

            So yes, I’m going by Vettel’s track record I’m not surprised that he is failing to deliver for Ferrari.

            We all know that most of the times the driver with the best car wins, simple than that.

            Well… going by the way 2018 is going, the driver with the best car will NOT win the championship. It’s also a little disingenuous to say that’s always been the case. Alonso won n 2006 with the 2nd best car on the grid.. Hamilton won in 2008 with the 2nd best car on the grid. So, why is it not applicable to Vettel?

            Regarding whether a team shouldn’t have to rely 110% on it’s driver. That’s true… they shouldn’t… but Ferrari does have to rely 110% on it’s driver. Which is why I don’t think it’s a good fit.

          3. The car Ferrari has this year is not better than the Mercedes. The cars are very evenly matched. The Mercedes has been a very good car overall, I really don’t understand why everyone followed Mercedes’ lead when they were crying about this supposed super advantage and tricks Ferrari were using/having when it simply was not the case. Even Wolff, James Allison and Hamilton admitted that after Belgium they bounced back and have once again a great platform to work with. It’s not like Hamilton and Bottas are 3/4 tenths behind in every qualifying session. It’s pretty darn close, but everyone is deifying Hamilton’s performance while throwing Vettel under the bus. In a way it’s fair because Vettel has compromised himself and the team a couple of times, but there is more to it than that, the team has also made mistakes. In the same way that Hamilton has been doing a stellar job, but he definitely has the tools to be doing it, it’s not like he is driving one handed or something.

            And the fact that Ferrari has to rely on a driver to deliver 110%, like you say, is the team’s fault and not their driver’s. Assuming Alonso is the best driver out there and he couldn’t do it, why should we expect anyone else to be able to do it? It’s shortsighted to put such high demands and expectations on a driver. The team as a whole still has to evolve if they are really to contend for championships. A good car/driver combo is not enough. Everything has to be clicking in sync, and in Ferrari they aren’t.

          4. Vettel is the sort of driver that will win a chess game as long as he has a piece advantage or has the first move (aka leading from the front in many races). If he’s behind in pieces or 1 move behind, he needs luck or an error to win.

            Hamilton is the sort of driver that is almost guaranteed to win the game if he has a piece advantage. When he’s behind in pieces, if there’s one driver you want in the car it’s him cause he’s the only one who can win that or come close to winning it when there’s really no realistic chance of that happening without lady luck.

            1. If we are talking chess, I’m pretty sure they would both lose

            2. @johnmilk probably :-)

      3. Bottas is just not in the same league as Lewis and Gasly is a bot of an unknown but will likely be number 2 to max.

        GAS is Robottas Version 2, confirmed and activated.

      4. It is not true that Lewis is better driver.
        He is not under microscope and stress throughout the year.
        Whole year, FIA is checking to find out reason for Ferrari success. Merc with Toto as a leader told FIA that Ferrari must be monitored since they are doing illegal things that Toto cannot undetstand but since FIA did not find any miracle, Toto again pressurized Cerrari like telling that whole month will be working on Ferrari’s invention during August break.
        Funny guy!
        He is helping lewis.
        Lewis is bad in practice1,2,3 and in Q3 than Q2 and he has only 1 lap.
        Illegal lap, yes…

        1. How was the lap illegal? Does it really hurt that much to see your beloved (OR as you have repeatedly described him previously -The Handsome Vettel) hero losing?

          Hamilton is simply a driver who is capable of pulling a brilliant lap out when needed. It’s not his fault that Vettel has performance issues on the day.

          Honestly, would you prefer the results to be delcared as a Ferrari 1-2 on the Friday and the points awarded then?

          Fortunately, the majority of Ferrari fans are more realistic and I’ve actually seen a few comments that start ‘I’m a Ferrari fan, but…’ and then go on to give their reasons why Hamilton did better and why he deserves to take the championship, some have been quite scathing of both Ferrari and Vettel.

    7. While this is mathematically true, this isn’t the right mindset to do so. When you aim for a win in every race, you tend to take unnecessary risks, which breeds mistakes. The right way to achieve maximum is to not aim at any place, but rather do the best given circumstances (like what Alonso has been doing). At this point I see Vettel making another unnecessary mistake at some point as more likely scenario.

      1. I think Vettel was trying too hard to make up for the 2017 race.

        1. That ocurred to me as well OOliver. It seems that Vettel still is feeling the pressure on him while Hamilton seems just to enjoy himself where he is and that helps him get the results.

          Also, the Mercedes team seems to make less mistakes (although their tyre picks could have posed one in Q1) recently.

          1. I have seen some lousy strategy calls by merc in the first half. People tend to forget quickly.

            1. +1 and they were fortunate in Q1. Lewis P14 in in Q1

      2. I think Seb wants to at this moment to at least close the gap to Lewis. In case the gap is down to 20 points by Japan then the game is on. How would that happen? A mechanical issue with Lewis or stuck behind Max or something with Vettel crushing the lead may well close the gap down.

      3. When you aim for a win in every race, you tend to take unnecessary risks, which breeds mistakes.

        I agree, Ferrari have already hit that pattern by risking the undercut in Singapore, leaving them in third instead of second where they were. It means winning every race is even more unlikely because statistically those risks aren’t going to fall 100% in Ferrari’s favour. Far from it. The opposite is more likely most of the time.

        Vettel needs to sort his head out. He came under a bit of pressure from Raikkonen mid way into the season and it seems to have thrown him off-balance, expecting the team to give him preference at Monza, for example, rather than rise to the challenge of his team mate (let alone Hamilton). So what’s facing Leclerc going to be like next season?

    8. I will support Seb to the end. I hate how people turn on him and even Ferrari. It is super hard at the top and Merc / Ham has been a deadly combo with the best car going on 5 years now. Ferrari only now look to be able to compete with Merc, they do clearly not have a car that is ‘substantially’ better. Seb can run with Ham all day long, do not be fooled. Ferrari are in a winning position because of Seb – people quickly forget the wins and pole positions and fight backs etc and focus on one or 2 errors. That said, unfortunately for Seb this year is so tight it will come down to who makes fewest mistakes. At this stage I say it is even ito who ‘deserves’ it – remember the start of the season where Seb/Fer beat the silver arrows fair and square in what was then an ‘inferior’ car. What a great season for the sport nonetheless and 6 races is a long way – I just hope it is clean for Seb so he and the red car can prove how fast they really are and take the championship all the way! P.S – Seb can drive just fine in the wet – he is one of the better drivers. However in mixed conditions, Hamilton has been both lucky and brilliant. But it is not a case of if it rains seb’s race is over. Just looks that way due to the weird ‘wet’ races we have had this year…

    9. They’ve lost it again. Vettel in a Red Bull nailed every weekend in a position similar to this, he was a nightmare for a ferrari fan, now he’s in ferrari and he doesn’t seem like the same driver, unsure, nervous, lack of composure at times. Add that to Ferraris reaction style strategy or the “lets try what mercedes tried last week” tactics, and as a fan I find ferrari slipping further and further away from the title again.

    10. Vettel heaping pressure on himself again…only to invariably buckle under it. Thinking of winning all the remaining races..hah.

      1. He’s not thinking he’s going to do it, it’s him saying that is what he needs to do, because it’s the only way he will claw back the points to win, assuming HAM finishes in second place to him in every race, give the 7 point difference (6 x 7 = 42 points).

    11. I guess he is talking about the constructors championship. Much more important for Ferrari.

      1. That’s even more less likely to happen. I said it since 1st race of the season, Ferrari has no chance at the WCC as long as RAI is in the 2nd car and if their car is just a match to Mercedes or some other opponent.

        1. This does NOT go for 2018, raikkonen so far has the measure of bottas, the constructors atm is more likely than drivers, right because of this, the problem is vettel is too far behind compared to hamilton.

    12. HAM can win a last one and mess up or crash out in another. He’s been driving well but is also undeservedly lucky. He says there’s a God leveling things out!
      Time for VET to shine!

      1. Herberto Quaresma
        17th September 2018, 13:28

        “Underservedly lucky” is just a sad expression.
        Vettel will be a very lucky man if he keeps his seat after all those errors.

      2. undeservedly lucky

        ? Come on, Vettel is behind because of his mistakes and Ferrari’s, not bad luck. And Hamilton definitely lost a recent championship because of bad luck (2016). I want to see it decided on merit this year.

        1. and Hamilton definitely lost a recent championship because of bad luck

          I’d put 2012 up there as well, Hamilton was robbed in that season.

      3. He’s been driving well but is also undeservedly lucky

        Like his gearbox problem that netted him a 5 place grid penalty? Or his mechanical failure in Austria? Or his mechanical failure in the German GP qualifying? Or his cooling failure in Canada that ruined his race?

        Yes Such Luck! Much Good Fortune! Wow!

      4. True, undeserved lucky!!!! Yes

    13. It’s very depressing to admit but while that is obviously the best thing to do it’s not the most likely thing to happen. Rather expect Vettel will lose the title by a handful of points. 3, 4 at most.

      That said if Vettel does take the title this year it’ll be one one of the most impressive fightbacks in a while. And really, he has done it before – his epic run of nine consecutive wins in 2013 and the only time he was leading the championship in 2010 was at the final race, so it’s more than possible… but rare.

    14. Ferrari and Mercedes are extremely evenly matched this season – and I would say that there have been circuits where the Merc had the edge and vice versa.

      In the end, it has come down to the number of mistakes made. And Ferrari and Seb have done a couple more than Merc and Ham. That’s it.

      What does bother me is the really rookie strategy mistakes by Ferrari this year. Nothing else.

      1. What does bother me is the really rookie strategy mistakes by Ferrari this year.

        Not really true. In my opinion there’s still some mystery with these tyres and their car is not really working. Just remember last year at Silverstone where they opted for a certain just to have a decent Quali, but it backfired ugly in the race. This year in some races they expected to be faster, just to be proven by the tyres. In race trim Mercedes seems to perform better no matter what tyre is used. So, as long as they don’t have the car to make it happen when it matters, their strategy – no matter what’s that – won’t work. Yeah, I think so too that yesterday they made a mistake by pitting VET first, but it’s not 100% would have worked. Do not think VET had the pace for his own “hammer time” to undercut HAM or avoid the undercut from VER.

        1. For all the talk about Ferrari’s mistakes, remember that Mercedes threw away near certain win in Melbourne because of wrong strategy.

          Mercedes was faster in Bahrain but Bottas couldn’t find a way past Vettel.

          Vettel was hit by Verstappen in China (Mercedes failed to capitalise with the fastest car).

          Hammy qualified badly in Canada.

          Hammy threw away a potential win at Silverstone by not being more cautious on the first lap.

          1. Vettel was hit by Verstappen in China

            Hammy threw away a potential win at Silverstone by not being more cautious on the first lap.

            The bias, it is overwhelming.

    15. We constantly hear the names Toto Wolf and Christian Horner, both good and bad. We hear other team principals blamed for the team’s issues or good performances. Why do we never seem to hear Mauricio Arrivabene blamed for the problems at Ferrari? I’m puzzled how little criticism of him we hear. He came on board in 2014 and the team has struggled and disappointed ever since. The issues clearly started prior to his arrival but the team has made very little by way of significant progress with him at the helm.

      Recently I’ve heard a lot of comment about VET running the team from the cockpit and how much stress that puts on him. Why? Is it maybe because the fprmer Philip Morris advertising executive is and has been over his head?

      When is Ferrari going to say Arrivederci to Arrivabene? I’m no fan of Vettel, and no fan of Ferrari either but it may be time for a change. And team principal seems to be where they start.

      1. Why do we never seem to hear Mauricio Arrivabene blamed for the problems at Ferrari?

        Because the current PR strategy is to make the team a media black hole. We don’t hear anything from them other than dry press releases and unsubstantiated rumours. Arrivabene, the drivers or the majority of other team members don’t speak to the press unless contractually required to (the pen etc.) or if a journo door-steps them in the paddock or pit lane.

        Just listen to/read Joe Saward and (I believe) Dieter on this site – the journos hate that Ferrari don’t talk to them, so basically don’t bother reporting on them.

      2. He came on board in 2014 and the team has struggled and disappointed ever since. The issues clearly started prior to his arrival but the team has made very little by way of significant progress with him at the helm.

        I take it you weren’t watching F1 in 2014?

        2014 – Zero wins
        2017-2018 Championship contending car.

        2014 Merc 701pts Ferrari 216pts
        2018* Merc 452pts Ferrari 415pts

        Damn that is some very little by way of significant progress

        *season in progress

        1. Oh, please, stop it with 2017, that wasn’t a champ contending car. It was close, but…. not really. It lacked performance and reliability too. It was a GP winning car, that’s all.

          1. Exactly.

            The Ferrari was the legitimately fastest car at Monaco, Hungary, Singapore and Malaysia.

            Bottas finished 8 points behind Vettel for crying out loud.

            1. Lmao it would be you “two” that replied, and completely miss the point of my post unsurprisingly.

              No matter your biased ranting makes no difference to me :)

              Bottas finished 8 points behind Vettel for crying out loud.

              Well maybe if Vettel hadn’t made so many mistakes that would have been different eh ;) Remember “Vettel threw away a potential win at Singapore by not being more cautious on the first lap”, add to that his road rage in Baku and his ridiculously clumsy start in Mexico where he hit 2 other drivers and he probably could have won the championship.

              Ergo:
              CHAMPIONSHIP
              CONTENDING
              CAR
              That’s a fact ;)

            2. The Ferrari was the legitimately fastest car at Monaco, Hungary, Singapore and Malaysia

              And Russia and Mexico, equally as good as Merc at others …. almost like it was a championship contending car eh ;)

            3. Mexico is debateable. RBR has a slight edge. Raikkonen was nowhere.

              Russia, Mercedes was faster. Vettel caught Bottas, but Bottas is a level below Vettel as a driver. All else being equal Vettel will always catch Bottas.

              Not like Bahrain this year where Bottas was catching Vettel.

              You bring up a great point about Mexico. Hammy should have been punished for missing the first corner of Mexico 2016 and gaining a large advantage. Ridiculous he wasn’t penalised. Very lucky.

            4. Mexico is debateable

              It’s not because we are talking about vs Merc not vs RBR.

              Russia, Mercedes was faster

              They weren’t

              gaining a large advantage. Ridiculous he wasn’t penalised. Very lucky

              Ahahahahaha I needed that. Good one!

              Anyway since you changed the subject I assume you now concur with me that Ferrari made a championship contending car last year though :) That shows some positive growth from you anon :) Long may it continue!

    16. Tarheelpup – How come have they disappointed since 2014? They have come a long way since that dreadful season, from 4th/5th best car to race winners again. What are you referring to?

      1. This was supposed to be a reply to the comment above…

    17. Vettel is learning that no driver is bigger than the team.

    18. Ok, so with 150 points yet on the table, Max, Kimi and Valtteri can still get the WDC (sorry Dan, you are out now).
      Or just Max, because Ferrari/Merc would never allow Kimi/Valtteri to get it, but that’s another story.
      I’ll accept Max as a consolation prize, much as I would like Kimi to win. Having to choose between 5 and 44 for the WDC is much like going to the doctor to find out if you have cancer or cirrhosis.

    19. lol. let the guy dream. he hasn’t won six in 15, but hopes to win six in six. OOOkay…

      1. Indeed, so disappointed by vettel and ferrari, with the car they have this year they are yet to make a record of wins in the hybrid era, they need a 6th win for it, and also currently they’re worse off than the last season.

        By the looks of it, considering vettel ended up 46 points off last season, he’s more likely to end up further adrift this one!

    20. Well, what on Earth have you been aiming to do till now?! Hamilton has reached another level this year while we continue to make mistakes every other race. What an embarrassment.

    21. It’s what he needs to do, but the odds are pretty much against them.

      We’ve just finished a series of races where Ferrari seemed the car to win during practice, but they then failed to deliver in Qualifying or the race, either through that performance forgetting to turn up on the day, driver error or poor strategy calls.

      The chances of the last six races falling to Ferrari, well, I’m sure someone has worked out the odds. Either the Ferrari won’t have a good enough advantage, a bad stategy call will get made or driver errors will occur (Either at Vettel’s hand, or the actions of other drivers) and there’s the reiability factor too.
      Bear in mind, Vettel’s had at least two races where he’s had to race up the field from the back having plunged down the order on the first lap. That’s two engines with extra wear on that may play a part in the last few races.

      For Vettel to have any real chance, he’s going to need to be on pole for all six races, drive cleanly on the opening lap, have 100% reliability in all six races, stay out of accident/traffic/weather related troubles and he needs Ferrari to not drop the ball on stategy calls and pitstops.

      Plus side, if you put money on it and he does it, could be a nice payout with those odds.

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