Vettel backs Ferrari amid recent troubles
8 October 2017 – Sebastian Vettel has defended Ferrari after he suffered a further setback due to reliability woes at the Japanese Grand Prix.
Vettel led the title battle through to last month's Italian Grand Prix, but slipped behind Lewis Hamilton for the first time this season at Ferrari's home event.
He took pole in Singapore, but a first-lap crash led to his retirement, while his prospects in Malaysia were hurt by a turbo issue in qualifying, leaving him at the back, from where he recovered to fourth.
Vettel qualified second in Japan, but a pre-race spark plug issue could not be rectified and he tumbled down the order during the opening laps, amid a lack of straight line speed.
Vettel ultimately pulled into the pits to retire, but defended his Ferrari team, and pointed to the progress it has made this year.
"It's normal if you're critical, especially if things go wrong, it's part of our job, but I think I need to protect them," Vettel said of Ferrari.
"We've done an incredible job so far, it's bitter the last two races with the reliability issues, but it's like that sometimes.
"Of course it hurts, we're all disappointed, but the best [thing to do] is to get back, get some rest, and go flat out for the next four races and see what happens."
Vettel added: "We still have a chance this year, it depends on what happens today and the next races.
"But, yeah, obviously it's not as much in our control as we'd like, but overall, I think the team is on a good way.
"I think we are improving race by race, I think we got a lot further than people thought.
"There's also some positives, but for sure now you don't look at the positives, as it's not a day to look at positives."