Vettel admits he failed at Ferrari
By Mat Coch
Thursday 8th October, 2020 - 8:45am
Four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel has admitted he should have done better during his time with Ferrari.
The German is set to leave the Scuderia at the end of the year after six seasons with the team.
During that time he’s netted 14 grands prix wins, his most recent coming in Singapore last year.
When joining Ferrari, Vettel had hoped to emulate countryman Michael Schumacher, and lead the team to world championship success.
He came closest in 2017 when he finished second to Lewis Hamilton, 46 points behind the Brit in the championship standings.
“I don’t think I will go on having any regrets looking back,” Vettel told the Beyond the Grid podcast.
“It is true that I have failed because I set myself the mission of the target to win the world championship with Ferrari; I failed, I didn’t manage to do that.
“There are things that I should have done better, things that maybe I should have seen earlier, fights that maybe I shouldn’t have picked.
“But then again, I think everything that happened brought me to where I am now, you see what I mean?”
For many, the 2018 German Grand Prix was a turning point in the relationship between Vettel and Ferrari.
In the championship hunt at the time and leading the race, the 33-year-old slid off the track and into retirement. It was a mistake that all but ended his title hopes.
“I’m generally not talking about stuff that happens on the track now, (such as) losing the car in Hockenheim in sort of half-wet, half-dry conditions,” he explained.
“Many people point that one out as a low point, but I’m not talking about things like that.
“I think that looking back they weren’t worth fighting, you see what I mean?
“But again, part of it was probably in my nature and it was natural to do so.
“I think I had a point as well in some of these little fights and battles, whatever, but yeah I think ultimately that’s how you mature and how you learn.”
Following news that he would be replaced by Carlos Sainz at Ferrari next year, Vettel was quickly linked with a move to Racing Point.
He was only confirmed as Sergio Perez’s replacement last month where he will partner Lance Stroll in the rebranded Aston Martin team for 2021.
It’s a team that builds on the foundations of what was originally the Jordan Grand Prix team, the outfit having undergone a number of ownership and name changes during the intervening years.
Championship contenders with Heinz-Harald Frentzen in 2001, its last race win came in the 2003 Brazilian Grand Prix courtesy of Giancarlo Fisichella.
The squad received fresh investment midway through 2018 courtesy of a Lawrence Stroll-led consortium buying the assets from Vijay Mallya (the squad then known as Force India).
Vettel’s arrival is therefore considered a signal of intent from the new owners that they are serious about progressing out of the midfield quagmire its found itself in recent years.
“(There were) a lot of factors,” Vettel said of his decision to join the team.
“Those boxes were quite easy to tick in terms of the performance – the racing side of things, where the team is, where the might team might be, the potential and so on.
“But more so I think it was the mindset and the will to really do something and bring something good together.
“It sounds like a fun project and ultimately something I want to be part of.
“It is very different to Ferrari, obviously Racing Point as it stands today and in the future Aston Martin will be growing, there will be a lot of things happening for the first time and I think it’s an incredible, challenging journey for the whole team
“I hope I can contribute a lot of things and do good in the car, and outside the car.
“I love racing and I’m looking forward to go racing,” he added.
“I don’t regret the last years and I learned a lot in my time with Ferrari – a different team, a different culture – but yes, certainly Ferrari is a special team in many ways and I guess where I’m going will be different. I’m looking forward to it.