Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel says that the Maranello team has learnt from its mistakes last year and are “completely fired up” to beat rivals Mercedes in the 2018 Formula One season.
Despite enjoying its most successful F1 season in recent memory, Ferrari ultimately missed out on both world championships last season to Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel had led the standings by 14 points going into the summer break, before a disastrous run saw his title hopes collapse.
But the German, who claimed five wins across the season, is confident the Scuderia will hit back strongly in the upcoming campaign, pointing to the gains the Italian outfit was able to make over the previous winter following an aerodynamic overhaul to the regulations:
“The step that we have done in 2017 was incredible,” Sebastia said. “The way the team has come out with a competitive car at the beginning, the way we have improved both chassis and engine, on all fronts I think it has been outstanding. We have been close for most of the year, not close enough when it mattered, but that’s what happened. From that we made our conclusions, we learned our lessons. So I believe that those will help us. We are completely fired up.”
And Seb now explains that the Italian side knows what it needs to do in order to pull off a more sustained title charge in 2018: “Obviously it was bitter but now we look forward to in 2018. Everybody will be pushing very hard over the winter. I think we have what we need. It all starts again in 2018, so let’s see. We had two or three races that turned out to be very costly, for different reasons and, they’ve [Mercedes] been very, very strong, very consistent.
“In the end we weren’t good enough to take it to the last race and take the championship. So, I think we know what we need to do. There are lessons that were obvious, some were a bit more hidden but I’m sure we’ll dig deep enough and try to find all of them.”