Sebastian Vettel says his team has nothing to fear from the six remaining rounds of the Formula One season and is targeting victories at all of them in order to keep the championship in his hands.
The Ferrari driver fell 40 points behind championship rival and Singapore Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton on Sunday after another disappointing result. His third place finish means he either has to hope Hamilton struggles at the upcoming races or win all six in order to take the title regardless of where the Mercedes driver finishes.
However, Vettel has only won five races so far this season and a series of mistakes from both him and his team have seen him miss out on potential victories at four of the last five. Asked if he thought his team had let him down, Vettel denied that was the case and remained resolute that he could still be crowned champion at the end of the year.
“I don’t feel like that, we are team,” he said. “Everything that we achieve, we achieve it together. Obviously it’s not great when you come to the end of the championship and you are losing points instead of making up points, but we still have a lot of races left and some way to go.
“I think it’s pretty straightforward, if we win every race from now we are safe. So that is what we need to aim for.”
The next round will be held in Sochi, Russia on a circuit where Mercedes has won at every year since it joined the calendar in 2014. But Vettel is confident his Ferrari will be competitive not just in Russia but at all the remaining rounds.
“Russia, I think, has been getting better the last years for us, so it should suit our car as well,” Vettel said. “I don’t think we have any tracks to fear that are coming. I think our car is working pretty much everywhere and that’s a strength of our car, so no need to be afraid of what’s coming.”
However, Vettel said Ferrari must learn lessons from its off-par Singapore Grand Prix weekend.
“It’s a disappointment because we came to Singapore thinking that we are very strong. I think we were but not strong enough, not as strong as we probably wanted to be in terms of raw race pace. In qualifying, I still believe we could have had a better day but it’s history so we need to look forward.
“There are a couple of differences that are standing out about qualifying, about the race, things that we can learn from the others, because they simply did a better job if they finish ahead of us by half a minute, so clearly they did some things better than us.”