Ingredients? Check! Commitment? Check! Intelligence? Check! Sebastian Vettel insists Ferrari have all of the right tools to get back to the top, but concedes they “need to work better” to catch up to Mercedes.
After a sluggish first half of the 2019 season, Ferrari came to life at the start of the second half of the campaign with five consecutive pole positions.
They won three of those races, but it could easily have been five wins had they not made little mistakes here and there in Russia and this past weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Vettel finished second behind Valtteri Bottas at Suzuka after he made a poor start from pole with the result earning Merc a sixth consecutive Constructors’ title.
The German, though, believes Ferrari doesn’t “lack anything”, but they can do better.
“Well, obviously not happy with the fact that we didn’t have the year that we were looking for,” he said. “Obviously it’s been a long year and it’s still going so…
“I don’t think we’re lacking anything. I think we just need to work better. I think we are very committed, working very hard but it’s not yet on the level that can be achieved.
“Obviously Mercedes have shown that in the last years that you can do better and they’ve been able to maintain that. I think we are not in that position, but I’ve loved to be honest and I’m sure that we would be more enthusiastic by nature but that’s not the case so we need to work better.
“As I said, I think we don’t need to work harder but I think we need to work better.
He added: “So as I said, there’s still room for improvement. It doesn’t start in Mexico – next year; next year starts next year so whatever we can learn this year, I think we’ve learned a lot about our car, the weaknesses, we’ve improved it but we’re still not there so… We’ve had a strong couple of races but overall I think we’re still a little bit behind.”
While Ferrari, both drivers and those on the pitwall, have made a lot of mistakes this season, Mercedes have been “close to perfection” and Vettel feels that’s something that the Scuderia needs to aim for next season.
“It’s very difficult, obviously you can’t see what they are doing but I think from the outside they are very close to perfection every time they go out on track so very consistent, very little mistakes,” he said.
That’s certainly also part of what makes them so strong but yeah, if you clinch the Constructors title with four races to go there’s a lot of things you do better than all the others.
“If you go into detail then you can argue what their car is maybe doing better than ours but I don’t think that’s the point overall, it’s a team effort and as I said, I think we do have the ingredients, we do have the commitment, we do have the intelligence but we just need to do it better.
“It’s a lot of small things; it’s not one thing that we need to improve, it’s a lot of small things that we need to do better, every single one of us and that’s the only way that we can try and step up. Hopefully they get a bit bored, we will see what happens.”