Vettel: Ferrari has 'healthy platform' for 2018
18 December 2017 – Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari has created a "good and healthy platform" for next year's Formula 1 campaign, having thrust itself back into contention in 2017.
Ferrari endured a win-less 2016 campaign, its second in three years, but utilised the regulatory overhaul to emerge as a front-runner once more.
Vettel took four wins during the opening half of the season and led the championship through to the Italian Grand Prix, having at one stage held a 25-point advantage over Lewis Hamilton.
However, a spate of incidents and reliability issues, allied to the pace of Hamilton and Mercedes, proved decisive, with the Briton storming clear in the standings, wrapping up the title in Mexico.
Vettel, who added a fifth win of the year for Ferrari at the penultimate round in Brazil, is sure that the squad can take another step in 2018, pointing to its year-on-year gains from 2016 to 2017.
"It's always the same game, obviously the regulations stay roughly the same," said Vettel of Ferrari's stance towards 2018.
"I think we have a good and healthy platform to build on at the beginning of the year, so I hope that continues.
"What we have to do is take that final step, it's always that final step that it is the hardest.
"[But there's] a lot of work going on already over the last couple of months to make the car faster, put more power into the engine and then we'll see where we are."
Vettel added that it was important that Ferrari has understood its strengths and weaknesses after the various events of 2017.
"There were races we could have done better, there were races where I could have done better, but there were also races where we should have done a lot worse and we didn't," said Vettel.
"Obviously some of the races get highlighted and we get a lot of praise for it, other times you get a lot of the opposite but that's part of the game.
"I think the most important [thing] for us drivers and the team is to understand where we've been strong and weak."