As the post-season examinations begin, Sebastian Vettel admits he has to “look at myself first” after his 2018 campaign imploded mid-season.
Having began this year with arguably the fastest car on the grid, Vettel and Ferrari looked to be on course for a first Drivers’ title together.
The German crashed out of the lead at his home grand prix, tagged Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap of the Italian GP and hit Max Verstappen in Japan to list just a few mistakes.
The end result was he lost the World title to Hamilton, and did so with two races still to be run.
Vettel admits he needs to “review” a few things.
“The year I’ve had, I don’t think I ever have any problems raising my hand if I made a mistake,” he told the BBC.
“Knowing as well, as a racing driver, how quickly things can go wrong, how quickly things could have gone differently this year, I think I have to review a couple of things.
“But there’s other things that went wrong and don’t need a lot of reviewing and not over-complicating things too much.
“I know what I need to do. Certainly, here and there, looking back I haven’t been at the top of my game so… I look at myself first.”
This year’s troubles, though, didn’t belong to Vettel alone.
“Things didn’t come together so obviously we did a step back towards the end of the year which enabled us to be more competitive again,” he said of Ferrari’s form.
“But I think we’ve understood what went wrong. We obviously tried to do a better job in the future. That was one key thing.
“On the other hand I think we had a lot of lessons. It was a tough year in general.
“The team is strong and the team has potential but surely it was a lot of things that happened inside the team.”
He added: “It’s up to us to look into every single detail and make sure we come out as a stronger group, enabling us to build a stronger package for next year and for the future.”