Vettel admits it won’t be easy to end Ferrari’s Monaco losing streak

Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari seen in the Paddock during previews to the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 25, 2016 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.

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Sebastian Vettel admits that it may be difficult for Ferrari to end what is now a 15-year drought in Monaco.

The Maranello team’s last victory in the principality came with Michael Schumacher back in 2001.

“I think you could probably apply the statistics to many places,” said Vettel on Wednesday. “I think we all know that we want to bring Ferrari back to the top. Obviously the challenge is very difficult, but the target is there, so then hopefully very, very soon we’ll stop having all these bad-sounding statistics.”

Vettel said that the ultimate performance of the car plays less of a role in Monaco than elsewhere.

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“I think it’s one of the places where it’s difficult to read the strength of the car or weakness of the car. I think it’s a place where a driver can make more of a difference, a place where you need to have the confidence, as a driver in order to be able to make the difference.

“So of course it’s important which car you have, how confident you are but it’s probably more important here, the level of confidence, just going around, the trust in the circuit, because that allows you, compared to other tracks, let’s say, more normal racetracks, to extract a little bit more. So, I think the car is not as important maybe, as it is in Barcelona for example – or a normal racetrack.”

Vettel says Ferrari still has its sights set on Mercedes, despite the resurgent challenge from Red Bull.

“I think our aim is still looking forward and in that regard our aim is Mercedes. I think in Barcelona we had a bad Saturday, which explained the difficult race on Sunday, I terms of raw speed we should have been ahead but we weren’t. I said on the day well done to them and in particular to Max, but we move on.

“I think we have a strong package. We do have new bits here and there, so I think we obviously as I said want to make progress and want to make sure we close the gap to Mercedes rather than looking at what’s going on behind.”

Despite recent frustrations, he insisted that Ferrari has made progress compared to last year.

“I think we’ve made a step forward. It’s what we said from day one. It feels simply more grip, we have increase the downforce, we’ve worked a lot of the kinematics of the car. I think we’ve done a very big step forwards. It is a lot better than last year but equally you need to accept the challenge, that other people have improved their cars as well. I’m sure if we would race with this year’s car last year we could win the Championship by a country mile – but it’s not the case.

“Equally, everybody else in the pitlane is probably telling you probably the same story. You need to be there when it matters. At the moment we’re still a little bit behind. But, as I said, our target and all of focus, here at the track and back in Maranello, everyone is to make sure we improve our car and we close the gap. That’s it really. Does it suit my driving style? I think so, yes. Does it suit us? I think yes. Are we quick enough yet? Not yet.”