Although happy that Ferrari have refound their form, Sebastian Vettel concedes it took “too long” to really be classed as “good news.”
Ferrari put an end to Lewis Hamilton’s winning streak in Austin on Sunday as Kimi Raikkonen raced to the victory at the United States GP.
It was the Scuderia’s first win since August’s Belgian Grand Prix.
But while he is happy to see Ferrari back on the pace, Vettel admits it has taken them “too long” to refind their form.
“It took too long,” he told ESPN. “You can see it as good news but you can also see it as bad news.
“If we have to go back to a car that has been competitive three or four months ago, surely it can’t be good news if you think about it.”
Asked what had gone wrong in recent races, the German admitted Ferrari had been baffled by their lack of pace.
“It’s a bit hard to explain. If you don’t see that there is a problem, you don’t think that there is a problem.
“We felt the car was not as strong as it was before but if you don’t see there is anything wrong then you don’t know that there is something wrong.
“All the steps we did, they seemed to make sense. But now looking back, they didn’t. Clearly there was something missed.
“We haven’t understood why and where the aero took off and started, there is a lot of stuff for us to do and understand, but I’m pretty sure we will do what is necessary and get on top of it.”
With Vettel fourth on Sunday to Lewis Hamilton’s P3, the title fight will go to Mexico.
However, all Hamilton needs to do is finish inside the top seven and he’ll be crowned World Champion irrespective of whether Vettel wins the race or not.
Speaking about his title chances, he said: “They are getting slimmer, but we will try to head to Mexico and get the best out of our car. Maybe there are some elements we can improve.
“Probably the last four or five races, we haven’t done so well. Obviously the last couple of months haven’t been good for us, in many regards.
“We had another recovery drive today, but I’m getting a bit tired for recovery drives. It’s fun to race but I’m pretty sure at that some point the coin might flip to the other side.”