[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”16″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_pro_slideshow” image_crop=”0″ image_pan=”1″ show_playback_controls=”1″ show_captions=”0″ caption_class=”caption_overlay_bottom” caption_height=”70″ aspect_ratio=”1.5″ width=”100″ width_unit=”%” transition=”fade” transition_speed=”1″ slideshow_speed=”5″ border_size=”0″ border_color=”#ffffff” ngg_triggers_display=”always” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]Sebastian Vettel and his Ferrari team have said very little during the Formula 1 off-season, but the four times World Champion appears quietly confident ahead of the season opened, where victories and the title are obvious targets.
Asked by Sport Bild if a chamoionship bid was on the cards, Vettel replied, “Yes of course! If not, I wouldn’t be on the grid. In Formula 1 only the results count.”
The German has every reason to be upbeat and confident as Ferrari were the ‘stars’ of winter testing. The SF70H clearly a handy package which showed strong early overall pace and top speed, as well as bullet-proof reliability.
Vettel revealed, “All I can say is that the spirit in the team is good, everyone is working for everyone else’s benefit. The car is making sense, and the numbers are making sense so let’s see where we can be.”
He and teammate Kimi Raikkonen topped the collective timing sheets at the end of the eight days of testing, but Vettel remains wary, “It’s impossible to predict anything. Even the tests in Barcelona only give a basic idea where you stand. And we’ll only have real clarity after three or four races.”
After his final day of testing in Barcelona, Vettel declared, “It’s too early to understand the available potential: we focused on our programme, without paying the slightest attention to what the other teams were doing.”
But he pointed out, “It is clear [Mercedes] are the favourites. Rule changes or not, they have got good people and a working team so they are the ones to beat.”
After a year of no victory trophies, Vettel will be looking to add to his 42 grand prix wins when he lines up on the grid in Melbourne, for the season opener on 26 March. He last won at the 2015 Singapore Grand Prix.
Big Question: What’s with Ferrari modesty ahead of the 2017 season?