Sebastian Vettel is under no illusions that he has to improve in 2020 if he is to get the better of Charles Leclerc at Ferrari.
Vettel’s 2019 season was a campaign riddled with mistakes and missed opportunities which led to him being outscored by his new team-mate Leclerc in the World Championship standings.
The four-time World Champion has lost his number one status at Ferrari, who will begin assessing their driver options for 2021 early next season.
Vettel is out of contract at the end of the 2020 campaign and talk of retirement has already entered the equation.
But, Vettel is well aware he was not good enough in 2019 and improvement must be made.
“My season wasn’t perfect,” Vettel said in an interview with Swiss newspaper Blick.
“Small things make the difference. In the end, the points that should have been scored are missing.
“Of course I’m not satisfied, I have to improve clearly. Life against Charles will certainly not be easier in 2020.
“And the new generation is already fully there. With Charles, Max, Esteban, Lando, Alex, George, Pierre and their names.”
Asked to rate his season out of 10, Vettel honestly replied: “I was not good enough for an 8, 9 or 10. A 5 would be too harsh, so say a 6 or 7.”
Vettel also explained that Ferrari’s “Achilles’ heel” was related to the aerodynamics of the car as the SF90 struggled to adapted to slow and medium corners.
“That was the common thread that ran through the season,” he said.
“We were just not stable enough from start to finish to take the speed into the corners, especially on the rear axle compared to the other teams. That was our Achilles’ heel.
“The slow and medium-speed corners we always lost time that we could rarely make up for with our speed on the straights.”