Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari’s current level of competitiveness leaves him with no worries going into the European season.
Despite having the fastest car in Formula One and having started the past three races from pole position, Vettel sits behind Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship. The German converted his Bahrain pole into victory, but he was unable to convert pole into a win in China and Azerbaijan.
In Shanghai, Vettel surrendered the lead to Valtteri Bottas as Ferrari was out-manoeuvred by Mercedes through the round of stops, as well as an untimely Safety Car period which allowed Daniel Ricciardo to put on fresh tyres and slice his way through the field. Baku was a similar case for Vettel as he appeared to have the race under control at the front, but lost the lead to Bottas under the second Safety Car and lost a position to Hamilton while trying to overtake the Finn at the Safety Car restart.
Unlike in 2017, Ferrari’s impressive race pace is replicated in qualifying leaving Vettel unconcerned about his recent misfortunes.
“Yes, the most important thing is that we have a good car and we have a car that we can work with in qualifying which if we can put at the front we have good pace for the race. I am not worried at all as it is quite different to last year in qualifying where most of the year we were competitive enough. Then later on in the season in the race we weren’t competitive enough to make things happen but if you are quick enough you can make this happen.
“Now the way the race turned out today for some people good and for some people bad. Speak to Valtteri I am pretty sure he is not happy because it was his win. That’s how it goes because I’m not worried because the car is there and we need to make sure it stays there.”