We all know that Sebastian Vettel had a very tough year just like many champions in F1 history have also had, but that doesn't mean that he has lost the competitive spirit to win his fifth championship and his first title with Ferrari. “The spirit within the team is unbroken” as the German says. Lately, Vettel's former boss at Red Bull, Christian Horner has said that the new arrival of Charles Leclerc at Ferrari in 2019 will force the four-time world champion to "work a bit harder".
Leclerc impressed us greatly with many excellent drives last season with Sauber and has certainly marked himself as a star on the rise in Formula One.
Vettel, being the returning driver at Ferrari and a multiple time champion should hold the upper hand on his new teammate, at least in 2019, but he knows as well as us that Lewis Hamilton is really his primary rival for the WDC and costly mistakes must be avoided for Ferrari to finally achieve its F1 ambitions. Vettel can compete well with Hamilton as long as opportunities are not wasted. This must certainly be foremost in his thoughts now as a new season is about to unfold. If Leclerc does well enough to take some points away from Hamilton then so much the better for Vettel!
Ferrari has made spectacular improvement as far as the speed in their car since 2017 as F1 has witnessed the most famous Vettel-Hamilton rivalry maintaining a championship fight with Mercedes until late last year. The Italian outfit’s trophy wall at Maranello has been waiting to be filled with new trophies since 2008 when Scuderia Ferrari last won the constructors' championship. Yes, It’s been a decade since the last victory for the team, and the last drivers’ championship title since 2007 with Kimi Raikkonen.
Scuderia Ferrari would do anything just to win their 17th constructors' championship and they are ready to increase their Formula 1 budget as well as management changes this season to end its long championship win drought.
"While our Formula 1 performance last year was the best one since we won the constructors' championship in 2008, we fell short of our ambition to raise the winners' cup," Ferrari chairman and CEO Louis Camilleri told investors in a conference call last week.
"Our objective going forward remains the same as it has always been, to win.
"In 2019 we project an increase in spending which partially reflects this ambition, but also includes the development expenditures required to address the new tactical regulations that will form part of the envisaged Concorde agreement that should come into force in 2021," he added.
Soon we will begin to find out if what might be Vettel’s best remaining chance to become a five-time F1 champion can be accomplished with Ferrari in 2019. There should be plenty of interesting and dramatic moments along the way!