Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 2018

Vettel: Ferrari has the ingredients to succeed in 2019

2019 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel believes Ferrari can be championship contenders in Formula 1 again this year after finishing as runner-up in the last two seasons.

The team has undergone some significant changes during the off-season with Mattia Binotto replacing Maurizio Arrivabene as team principal and Charles Leclerc taking over from Kimi Raikkonen as Vettel’s team mate.

But speaking at the Race of Champions in Mexico City yesterday Vettel said he believes the team has “got the ingredients” and “it’s down to us to do the job”.

“It’s difficult to say at this time of year,” he added. “Everybody’s still in the dark, we’re waiting for the cars to come and then get a feel and we’ll see in the first race.

“But looking forward, it’ll be a big challenge, what we want to achieve I think is clear. In terms of support I think here also there were a lot of Ferrari fans so we’re not lacking in terms of support.”

Vettel shared the runner-up spot in the ROC Nations competition with Mick Schumacher on Saturday. However he was eliminated from the solo competition yesterday after losing to the 19-year-old as well as eventual winner Benito Guerra.

“It’s a long year ahead of us and maybe not the start I was looking for,” Vettel joked. “It’s a fun event and I think we’ve had fun and it’s great to be here.”

“At the end I think only one can win so I think all the rest of us, we are in a way disappointed,” he added. “But that’s the name of the game.

“I think it was a fun competition, I would have liked to go a bit further, to drive a bit more, but sometimes it’s like this. Nevertheless it’s been a great day, a great two days with a great crowd coming today and good support. I think we all enjoyed it.”

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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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25 comments on “Vettel: Ferrari has the ingredients to succeed in 2019”

  1. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
    21st January 2019, 7:37

    I am certain that Vettel can beat Lewis. 2018 was a bad year him for him to be sure. If he has though the form he had in 2017, for instance when he barely made any mistakes, whilst having a great car underneath him, I think he can take it. Vettel’s weakness is his small, stupid mistakes. If he can fix that then he can become undoubtedly one of the all time greats.

    Nonetheless, he is still 31, so he has a lot of years in front of him, to win more titles. Wish the best for him!

    1. He lost in 2017 as well

      1. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
        22nd January 2019, 14:57

        Reliability cost him the title. Turbo issue in Malaysia where given his pace, he could have won. In Japan, he had a spark plug. He lost at least 30 points in both races. Perhaps, he could still lose but the fight would go to at least to Brazil.

    2. @panagiotism-papatheodorou

      2018 was awful for Vettel. There were chances to have an equal 8-8 win between him and Lewis instead of 11-5 (Baku, Germany, Monza). Thank goodness that there is always chances to start anew, especially in F1. Hopefully he will get his championship in his 5th year at Ferrari, just like Michael did back in 2000

      1. @panagiotism-papatheodorou @okeptl it hinges on how competitive Leclerc is I think. A lot of people believe Leclerc is a prodigious talent and a future great. Granted there are others who believe he is overrated and point to his iffy form in wet conditions. But if he is as good as people hope him to be and they have the best car Vettel might suffer from in-house opposition, sharing precious points with Leclerc in a season long back and forth. It brings to mind the McLaren situation in the 2007 season where Raikkonen sneaked the championship. And if that happens Hamilton has proved he will grab any sniff of a chance and claim the title. He certainly doesn’t need any extra help and any infighting at Ferrari will be welcomed in a Brackley. One gets the feeling that this is last chance saloon for Vettel and he needs to put together a stellar mistake free season to have a future at Ferrari. I’m looking forward to this dynamic more than anything else this year. Bring it on!

        1. @blackmamba

          I agree. As a fan of both Ferrari drivers, I hope Leclerc can be competitive from day 1. Having two fast drivers would be a better problem for Ferrari to have, considering what happened last year. The thing that makes me a Leclerc fan, is that he is one of the youngest driver who are the most genuine. He rarely play mind games, very self critical, and also don’t like to sugarcoat his words. At the moment I can’t see the garage splitting in two, but Nico Todt might think otherwise. If the hypothetical situation occurs, I think Binotto should know better than to let both championships slip away from Maranello. For now, I am just hoping that the car is good enough for the championship, really looking forward for the winter test next month

          1. I am fan of racing therefore my favorite at the moment is Ves. I hope for a lot of competition on the track next season. I also hope Leclerc does a good job, but good is not enough, He has competition from Lewis, Vettel, Verstappen maybe Bottas and those guys are not so easy to beat on the track.

    3. Also Lewis is fast becoming GOAT.

      He was pretty good and pretty flawless last season. It is very hard to imagine he can keep that form up every season. Following dominant 2015 he was quite a bit less perfect in 2016. Another year like that and Seb fixing his own act, would give Ferrari a fighting chance.

      The car also needs to be more competitive, they need around 2 tenths more advantage at start of the year. Mercedes have a very reliable track record of pulling things together and ending with a dominant car by mid season.

      1. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
        21st January 2019, 10:02

        I don’t think there are any GOATs in F1. There are so many different eras where the circumstances are so different. I think he is the best driver of his era like Michael before him, but I dont think we can compare Fangio and Lewis, simply because of how radically different the sport was back then.

    4. ” If he has though the form he had in 2017, for instance when he barely made any mistakes, whilst having a great car underneath him,

      Deliberately rammed into Hamilton in Baku–should have been black flagged
      Smashed his car on the cool down lap in Malaysia
      Crashed on the opening lap in Singapore. Not matter how you argue this, Vettel was partly to blame.
      Crashed into Hamilton in Mexico.
      Had a couple of massive lock ups, which contributed to his tyres blowing in GB.

      Are you sure you are not looking at Vettel’s 2017 through rose-tinted glasses?

      1. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
        21st January 2019, 10:04

        I said BARELY made any mistakes.

        Baku: Right
        Malaysia: Cost him nothing
        Singapore: Racing incident, there is no way he could see Kimi.
        Mexico: Championship was lost mate
        GB: Arguable. He had a failure a lap before the end. Even Kimi had issues with not a lot of lock ups. Tough luck I would call it.

        1. @panagiotism-papatheodorou

          GB- I wouldn’t call it tough luck. Vettel was the architect of his own downfall. He got overtaken by Verstappen at the start and this is where it all started to go wrong. He was unable to overtake Verstappen on track, so had to do it via the undercut. This meant stopping earlier than optimal (lap 18 instead of the recommended lap 25). This is turn meant running longer than what was recommended on his softs for the 2nd stint. He was also pushing massively and with the lock ups, all this contributed to Vettel cooking his tyres. Kimi’s problem was caused by an entirely separate issue.

          I agree Singapore was ultimately a racing incident, but Vettel still shares some of the blame. He got a sluggish star & thus felt the need to swerve aggressively to defend against Verstappen. It was poor judgement from Vettel to do that in wet conditions.

          Overall, 2017 was a better season than 2018 for Vettel. But he still made significant mistakes under pressure.

          1. *sluggish start*

        2. So… you agree… 5 mistakes, then… lmao…

    5. As as Lewis is concerned Vettel has blown his load twice (2017 and 2018) and is essentially is done and dusted. How many more chances in equal cars does he need? His class is already exposed. An elite driver, but not Legend Level status. I wish him the best for 2019.

  2. But does he have as well? That’s the key question.

  3. Not sure why this statement feels like a Deja Vu from last year and maybe we might have another Deja Vu moment when this overrated driver cracks under pressure with added pressure from new teammate.

    1. overrated. yeah. right.

      1. I don’t know, a 4 times champion who could be replaced by a 7-time race winner and you wouldn’t have negative changes, if there’s any changes they’re gonna be positive, sounds like overrated to me.

  4. I find it funny how this team has been repeating the same exact thing during the off season for the last 10 years. I wonder how long will it take before that actually happens, to see if the trend will change in that occasion.

  5. I don’t rate Vettel highly as a driver and also I don’t like him as a public figure. What I can’t understand is just like Alonso before him lady luck seems to abandon them the moment they joined Ferrari. Raikkonnen was the only one that got lucky wearing red.

    1. Don’t think it’s the case for vettel, he left red bull just as they got less competitive, so going to ferrari was a right choice till now, however it’s vettel who proved not up to par.

      Alonso drove much better considering the car he had, and definitely the ferraris he drove were worse than the renaults he won titles with, but had he stayed at renault he’d have had even less chance, they just weren’t competitive any more.

      He should’ve stayed at mclaren, that’s what he could’ve done, going to red bull was unpredictable it’d have worked.

  6. He believes the team has “got the ingredients”.
    Well that’s as maybe, dear. But what we’ve learnt from Bake Off is that it’s what you do with the ingredients that counts.

    1. LOL. Good one! Ferrari made him the perfect batter but he still overcooked it in the oven

  7. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    21st January 2019, 18:57

    Sure they have the ingredients now. Although he is a bit of an unknown quantity in a title fight, LeClerc should be capable of making life difficult for Hamilton.
    Seb saw that correctly

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