Singapore bigger turning point than Germany – Sebastian Vettel
Defeated 2018 Formula 1 title contender Sebastian Vettel believes Ferrari’s lack of pace at the start of the flyaway races was the turning point of the season.
Vettel led the standings after triumphing at the British Grand Prix and was poised to extend his advantage on home soil in Germany, but slid off the road in damp conditions.
Vettel’s exit allowed title rival Lewis Hamilton to take the first of six wins from seven races, a spell that included defeating Ferrari in Italy, in spite of the squad’s front-row lockout.
When asked whether the defeat in Germany or Italy was more compromising to his chances, Vettel replied: “None of the two, to be honest. For me, it was more Singapore.”
Ferrari and Vettel had been expected to contend for victory at Marina Bay but Hamilton stunned the field with his pole position lap and went on to control the race, and followed it up with another win in Russia.
“I think, yeah, from Singapore onwards we just didn’t have the pace to keep up with Mercedes for a couple of races,” said Vettel.
“Then obviously some other things happened on top that didn’t help and we couldn’t score the points due to mistakes that we did, mistakes that I did. So it didn’t help.
“I can’t be too hard on myself with what happened in Germany because it’s not like… I’ve done much bigger mistakes this year but obviously, it was the most costly one.
“Unfortunately it’s part of racing: when you push you might be sometimes pushing a little bit too hard. I chose the wrong corner as well.
“But anyway, it’s behind me and I’m not really thinking about that too much.
“I consider it part of racing and it happens to others as well. So, but yeah, seeing that struggled in the last couple of weeks, just for pace and speed was probably more defining than that.”
Vettel was keen to stress that he will still regard 2018 as a positive year for Ferrari’s development, even in its title defeat.
“It was definitely different to other years but nevertheless I think we shouldn’t neglect the fact that we had a very strong package, we were able to win races,” he said.
“We’re not in contention any more for the Drivers’ Championship but we can fight for the Constructors’.
“So, even if it has been a difficult year, I think still it’s been a good year for us as a team.”