For the first time in Formula 1 history, a decade ends without a single championship victory for Ferrari. It’s been eleven years since their last constructor’s triumph back in 2008 and all Scuderia’s hopes and efforts are now into the 2020 season.
Sebastian Vettel confirms “the factory is flat-out” to close the gap on Mercedes and that “the new car is pretty much done”. Despite that every single member of the team will keep pushing to get the maximum out of the winter break: “There’s still obviously a lot of work to do –says Vettel- but we’ll see where we are next year. A lot of work ahead of us. There’s a gap that we need to close, so we need to do a better job over winter than all the others”.
Despite an underperforming 2019 championship, Sebastian is confident on the team’s capabilities: “I think this year, things didn’t click the way they should –indeed he added- There’s not an awful lot that needs to be changed but small things that, here and there adjusted, can make a big difference. I’ve been around for a while, so I will use the experience that I have and the little, tiny bit of wisdom that there is, hopefully, to turn things to my favour.”
A brutally honest reflection comes instead when the Ferrari driver analyzes his personal season: “It wasn’t a great year from my side. I don’t think it’s as bad as it looks because there were a lot of things leading to not a great picture at the end of the year. But I’m the first one to look at myself and, if I’m honest, I know I can do better. That’s for sure the target for next year, to do a step forward.”
2019 has indeed been one of the worst seasons of the four time world champion: for the second time ever he has been outscored by his team mate (previously only Daniel Ricciardo in 2014 managed to keep Sebastian behind) and his fifth place in the standing represents his lowest finishing position since 2009 (tying with 2014).
What has built back his confidence is the overall improvement seen in the final part of the season: before Singapour possibly only the races in Canada and Germany showed the German’s skills. Then, Sebastian managed to put everything together once again with some solid final races: mistakes such as Suzuka’s controversy not-jumpstart can’t cast a shadow big enough to cover his pole in Japan and his win in Singapour.
Vettel knows it but keeps on flying low: “There were races I should have done better, like Monza. There were races where I think it was not just, like maybe Canada. There were races where we were unlucky, like Russia. So for many reasons, here and there, it could have been better.”
“We didn’t have the year we were hoping for, full stop. I think the reasons are clear, the lessons are clear and now it’s up to us to make sure to take them on board. As a team we must perform stronger. As an individual I think I must, I can… do better.”