Vettel: Ferrari's season still 'very good'
19 October 2017 – Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari's season can still be considered as a "very good" one, despite recent issues, arguing that "nobody expected" it to make such a step forward in 2017.
Vettel entered the summer break at the head of the standings, but was overhauled by Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton in Italy and fell significantly adrift over a challenging trio of Asian races.
Vettel retired as a result of a first-lap crash in Singapore, having started on pole, was consigned to the back of the grid in Malaysia with a turbo problem and retired in Japan after a spark plug issue.
However, while disappointed with the aforementioned events, Vettel pointed to Ferrari's progress from 2016 to 2017, which has yielded four wins and 10 further podium finishes.
"Overall, I think it's been so far a very good season," said Vettel.
"You always judge depending on the last couple of races, and they were not so good, but I think we are the team that did the most progress.
"Everybody expected Red Bull to be very strong this year, and as a fact they were not, especially in the beginning, and it was a given that Mercedes would be strong.
"Nobody expected us to be as strong as we are.
"I think there's still massive potential that's not unleashed completely, so it's up to us and the people in charge to make sure, but overall I think things are heading the right way.
"I think the direction is the right one, but we want to make bigger steps obviously."
He added: "I think there are reasons for the issues that we had.
"It's normal that you push the limits, sometimes you push them too far, sometimes you do small mistakes – it's always a mix of those things.
"Things can break, and it hurts a lot when it happens, but it doesn't happen for no reason, so we need to find a solution to the problem and not just fix it."
Vettel also vowed to keep pushing for the 2017 title, despite the 59-point deficit to Hamilton, who has his first opportunity to secure the crown in Austin this weekend.
Assessing the championship situation, Vettel said: "Obviously our chances are slimmer than they have been some races ago, but still I think there is a chance.
"We have a great car, we had the package to win the past couple of races, which we didn't, but that doesn't mean that we have no chance to win the next races.
"We need to look forward to what's next, and the next race is here."