Ferrari’s “very Italian” culture is not preventing it from winning another Formula 1 championship, says Sebastian Vettel.
A team that has been both praised and criticised for its unique identity over the years, the fact remains the Scuderia has not won an F1 title since the 2008 constructor’s championship.
And while its greatest (and most recent) period of sustained success from 2000-04 came under a collection of foreign talent in Michael Schumacher, Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne, Vettel does not believe his team’s recent preference for more home-grown personnel is stopping them from a return to such prominence.
“The strength of this team is the passion for Ferrari,” Vettel explained to Autosport. “I think that’s what thrives people coming in and going out every day. I think it’s really the legend and the myth of this brand. And to become a part of that history.
“It’s very Italian inside, has very Italian rules and traditions, which is great, that they are kept, but equally it’s very modern.
“I think sometimes also this is misunderstood, because you look at Italy to say that they are very traditional with lots of things and ‘la mamma’ and all this, whatever.
“But, you know, people are still very, very forward thinking and I think we have a lot of young great talents in the team, great people with great ideas, creative ideas, and that’s why in a way it’s a shame that we haven’t, you know — in terms of results — haven’t had that breakthrough yet.
“That’s why also the focus is there to keep working, do our thing, because I believe that one day we’ll be there.”
Since joining the team in 2015, Vettel and Ferrari have been able to challenge the dominant pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes on several occasions, most notably in 2017 and ’18, but a slew of mishaps meant they ultimately fell short in the standings.
2019 saw a step-back for both driver and car, but the German insists his motivation to topple the Silver Arrows remains as strong as ever.
“The mission is still the same, because we are not at the top. Obviously Mercedes has beaten us the last [few] years, so the mission is still up.
“Obviously we had a lot of races and we made a lot of experiences. I think there were some great moments and there were some moments that were not so great, but as I said the mission is still there and the target is still there to achieve the mission, to win with Ferrari.”