Ferrari ready to stay the title course in F1 2017, says Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian says Ferrari working to cure weaknesses for title run-in
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 10/08/17 4:51pm
Championship leader Sebastian Vettel is confident Ferrari will stay the course in their tight title fight with Mercedes and says they know what they need to focus their car development on.
With a return to winning ways in Hungary last weekend, Vettel has headed into F1's summer break with a 14-point lead over Lewis Hamilton, while Ferrari's second one-two of the season has reduced their deficit to Mercedes in the Constructors' Championship.
Ferrari have won only won one race after July, Singapore 2015, in the last six seasons but Vettel is confident the 2017-spec Maranello team is a more formidable proposition.
"The team is in a much better shape this year," he told Sky F1 after a brief two-hour run in the SF70-H on the final day of the Budapest test, when he set the fastest time.
"If you have the right results coming your way you start to pick up a bit of momentum and so it's up to us to keep it going. But I'm quite confident we have the right people, we know how to build a strong car, and we have improved the engine this year massively, so everything is going in the right direction.
"We will see in terms of time whether we will be ahead or behind but I'm confident we will be there and hopefully fight for a lot of big points."
Accepting there are "some weaknesses here and there on the car", Vettel nonetheless says Ferrari are aiming to develop the SF70-H to the point where it is ahead of Mercedes at all tracks.
"We have been competitive everywhere we went," he said of the season's first 11 races, which Ferrari have won four.
"Now, it's true to also say Mercedes here and there have been more competitive and we have been a little bit behind. We know what the car needs. It's normal that from track to track there's a little bit of a difference but that's not our target.
"We want to be the best on every track we go to and we're working on it. We have quite a good understanding of what the car needs and now we have a bit of time to look into a couple of things in a bit more peace and calm. But the most important thing is we know what we need."
For the first time since 2013, his last title-winning year, Vettel leads the standings at the August break with the German never previously having been beaten to the drivers' crown in a season in which he has led the championship.
"It's more important to lead the championship after the last race but, if you could choose, that's the position you want to be in [now too]," he added. "You don't want to be on the back foot. A long way to go but we have all the ingredients that we need to stay there."
If you are using skysports.com you can comment below to get involved in the debate, but please adhere to our House Rules. If you wish to report any comment, simply click on the down arrow next to the offending comment and click 'Report'.