Nearly two weeks on from his torrid Italian Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel has decided to eat humble pie and admit that, in this year’s Formula 1 World Championship campaign, he has been his own worst enemy as he slipped 30 points behind title rival Lewis Hamilton with only seven races remaining.
Speaking to Sky F1 ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, Vettel conceded, “It’s pretty straightforward for me. I think the biggest enemy is me. We have a great car, if I have something to play with then I think we have all the chances to do it in our way.”
Hamilton won for Mercedes in Italy and extended his lead over Vettel at a venue which was expected to suit the Ferraris, who had started from the front row. The German slipped up on the opening lap and again fumbled while his rival maximised the damage.
Vettel continued, “Obviously he’s the leader at the moment, he’s ahead, so he’s the one to beat. But we have all the chances and how much they could be better by now and so on, that’s a different question, but we still have a very good chance.”
“As I said, we will be our first enemy and not him as a person or them as a team. We need to look after ourselves and if we do that we have a good chance to do well, to win races and things look good.”
Vettel has made glaring mistakes, he crashed out of the lead during his home race at Hockenheim and most recently tripped up while battling Hamilton on the opening lap at Monza.
He mused, “It’s normal if you do a lot of races and some you feel you should and could have done better for various races, but there were other races where we shouldn’t have done as well and we did.”
“For sure the worst one was Germany, but the most important is I know what happened and I can explain it. Everybody is free to have their own views on what happened. I would have loved to have won in Germany, but I’m not too bothered.”
“I’m generally looking forward and not focusing on what we all could have done differently to avoid what happened.”
Last year Vettel’s race under the lights of Marina Bay Circuit lasted less than one hundred metres as he was eliminated in a three-way collision which included Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Looking to this year’s event, he said, “I like coming here and like the track.It’s the toughest race we have all year mentally and physically for various reasons.”
“It’s the sort of race that you don’t want to start, you’d rather prepare more to be more prepared, but then you are happy it starts because it’s a challenge you look forward to,” added Vettel who has won the Singapore Grand Prix in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015.