Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany steers his car during the first free practice at Hungaroring racetrack near Budapest, Hungary on Friday, July 22, 2016.
Sebastian Vettel admits that Ferrari has underperformed thus far in 2016, but the German insists that the team is improving.
Ferrari had one of its most disappointing races of the season at Silverstone and, at the halfway point of the season, the team is now just six points clear of Red Bull in the constructors’ championship.
“It’s a fact we obviously didn’t manage to score enough points to put ourselves in a better position by now,” said Vettel. “But I think we know ourselves, we don’t need to look constantly at the results we have had. Here and there maybe we could have done better, but bottom line is we are not yet quick enough, we know we are not yet where we want to be.
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“So that’s something we’re not happy with, but we’re working on very hard. If we could change it overnight, trust me, we would do it, but sometimes it’s not that easy. But still I think as a whole we are going in the right direction, we are making progress, even though sometimes it’s not that easy to see the results coming.”
However, Vettel denied that 2016 was the most difficult season of his career, and said that the situation was not as bad as it might look.
“You don’t have to be a genius, we had three races where we didn’t finish, if we finished those three races, things are looking very different. If you look especially the people you compare to, they finished most of their races.
“Clearly it hasn’t gone the way we were hoping for, clearly we are not where we want to be, but equally it’s not as bad. There’s no reason to deal with major setbacks or anything like that. For sure if you look at our last race it was our worst race in terms of competitiveness, not just that we were falling quite a bit behind Mercedes, but also it was the first race where Red Bull was faster than us in the race.
“So a couple of things that went wrong. But obviously with the test straight after there were quite a lot of things we understood about our car, and they should help us in the future to get back on track. Obviously it’s difficult to change things overnight, but I think here is a different story, a different track.
“All in all I don’t think it’s the most difficult season that I’ve ever had. I think I’ve had better ways to start the season for sure, but I’ve also had more difficult times. Looking back two years I think it was quite difficult.”