Sebastian Vettel has combatted what he believes as the “people’s perception,” that Ferrari had the dominant car in 2018, insisting he never had the advantage Mercedes often enjoyed.
Despite the fact that Ferrari did perform stronger than Mercedes at some races, Vettel believes that he did not continually have the stronger package.
In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com, Vettel said, “I think it is absolutely true to say that we have a very strong car, but I think people’s perception of the fact that we had a dominant car, I don’t think it was true.”
The three-time world champion argues that over the course of the season the Mercedes experienced an advantage more often than Ferrari.
“I don’t think we have a race where we dominated, whereas on the other hand, I think, they had. If you look at Spain, look at France, look at Russia, I don’t think we had races like that.”
Popular opinion centres Ferrari’s championship loss on making strategic errors, the Ferrari-driver argues that Mercedes maximised points at stronger tracks.
“They were able to win the races, which was obviously a strong point for them in making sure that they get all the points they can.
“But we were not able to get enough points, so that within two-three-four races… there was quite a big gap.”
Ferrari have been the strongest challenger to Mercedes ‘hybrid-era’ dominance, yet mistakes strategically by the team, on-track errors by Vettel, and Mercedes relentless development rate, has left the Scuderia asking questions of their 2018 performance. Vettel will need to come back in 2019 stronger, with a refocused mind and with the attitude that saw him leading the championship convincingly during the early rounds of this year.
Header Image: The Independent