Sebastian Vettel goes into the summer break leading the 2017 Formula 1 World Championship, with Ferrari fresh from a one-two in Hungary, which the German credits to hard work but insists that where they finish at the end of the year is more important than where they are right now.
Speaking in the wake of his victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Vettel told Sky, “It’s been rewarding for the team. It’s a fact to say in the last couple of years we didn’t have the best car and a fact to say in the last few years we weren’t the strongest as developing the car, but I think if you look at the progression this year is a different story and we keep progressing.”
“It’s more important to lead the championship after the last race, but I think it’s the best position to be in, you don’t want to be on the back foot. Equally the season is long, there’s a lot of races to come and a lot of things that can happen.”
Although Ferrari trail Mercedes by 39 points in the constructors’ championship after 11 rounds with nine to go, Vettel leads the drivers’ standings by 14 points.
The four times World Champion attributes that to a better working environment at Maranello, “The team is a much better shape this year. I think we have all the ingredients to stay there and have a good second half of the season. If you have the right results coming your way you start to pick up a bit of momentum so it’s up to us to keep it going.
“I’m quite confident we have the right people, we know how to build a good car, we’ve also improved the engine massively, so everything is going in the right direction. We will see in terms of time whether we will be ahead of behind but I’m confident we will be there and fight for hopefully a lot of big points.”
“We have seen a lot of bits from other people copying us, but that’s a good sign and a testimony of hard and good work and the achievement that has gone into this car and this project. We will keep pushing flat out. I think we’ve been competitive everywhere we went. It’s true also to say [in some places] Mercedes has been more competitive and we’ve been a bit behind.
“It’s normal that from track to track there’s a bit of a difference. We want to be quickest at every place we go which is currently not the case, but we’re working on it. We have quite a good understanding of what the car needs and now we have some time to look into a couple of things with peace and calm. What’s important is that we know what we need,” added Vettel.
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