Sebastian Vettel praises Ferrari F1 progress, wants more battles with Hamilton
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By:   |  23 Nov 2017   |  8:27 pm GMT  |  150 comments

Sebastian Vettel was on fine form in the F1 Drivers’ press conference in Abu Dhabi ahead of the final round, joking that if there were a “fair play” award in F1, he would not win it.

But in a more serious mood, he paid tribute to the progress made by the team’s engineers in Maranello; having played a part in Ferrari’s transition from a winless 2016 Formula 1 season to emerging in the battle for the 2017 championship.

Vettel observed that he and the team had learned from their collective mistakes over 2017, which had cost Ferrari the chance to secure the drivers’ and constructors’ championships.

Vettel also felt that having lost the championship battle to Lewis Hamilton in Mexico has given Ferrari the chance to approach the final two races in preparation for 2018. The German won the previous race at Interlagos, beating polesitter Valtteri Bottas to victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

“We made the biggest step this year; I think if we can do similar step for next season – don’t get me wrong, it’s a joke and Germans don’t joke – but it should be a walk in the park!

“I think what I want to say with that is, the step that we’ve done this year is incredible. The way that the team’s come out with a competitive car in the beginning, the way that we’ve improved in both chassis and engine – on all fronts – has been outstanding.

“We’ve been close for most of the year, not close enough when it mattered, but from that we made our conclusions and learned our lessons, so I believe that all of those will help us next year.

“We’re completely fired up. It was bitter [to lose the title] but I think it was actually a positive that we have a couple of races to approach and to look forward to next year.”

Although Ferrari currently trails Mercedes by 130 points in the constructors’ championship, which Mercedes clinched in the United States Grand Prix, it is nonetheless a marked improvement. Last year, Ferrari ended the season third in the standings and 367 points behind the Silver Arrows, also falling behind Red Bull Racing in the pecking order.

Will Vettel and Hamilton duel again next year?

Hamilton and Vettel also recounted their favourite moments in 2017 in which the pair raced wheel-to-wheel, and were both keen on the idea of more close-quarters battles on-track in the future – both citing their duel at Spa-Francorchamps as a particular example.

Most notably, the championship battle between the two reached boiling point at Baku, in which Vettel swerved into the side of Hamilton under the safety car, having earlier run into the back of his Mercedes and accusing the Brit of brake-checking him.

However, the two conceded that they enjoyed the majority of their duels this season, and welcomed the prospect of more battles should Ferrari and Mercedes again be in a position to battle for the championship next year.

“No, I don’t think we need to touch on [Baku] again!” Vettel said. “I think it’s been a good season, close, more wheel-to-wheel would be nice.

“I think Spa was a really intense race. I was trying to push [Lewis] all race. I probably had sort of a chance but he was very clever defending, up the hill, up Eau Rouge.

“I think it’s been a fun year. Obviously when you are racing that close, with hardly any mistakes, I think it’s fair to say also that this year Lewis probably made less mistakes and in the end he was just the better man and he deserved to win.”

Hamilton added: “I agree with what Sebastian said, in the sense that it was great to have those close battles. Spa was awesome.

“To be fighting a four-time world champion whom you respect, you expect nothing but the best from them and no mistakes.

“When you have races like Spa, where it’s really down to one of you making the smallest mistake, and none of us did, I’m looking forward to many more of those races in the future.”

What do you make of Vettel’s comments? Leave your comments in the section below

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1

Sarsippious:
The esteemed Ferrari boss was never going to think anything else!
If Vetell wants to challenge Hamilton he better get into a Mercedes Benz car instead of that awful fiat thing.

2

Sarsippious:
The esteemed Ferrari boss was never going to think anything else!
If Vettel wants to challenge Hamilton he better get into a Mercedes Benz car instead of that awful fiat thing.

3

eccleston made it clear that he couldn’t see how social media expansion would generate revenue and liberty have just shown us how by expanding f1’s social media platform which shrinking revenue..
they now plan on improving the f1 logo. please don’t do it..

4
Clarks4WheelDrift

Not good enough Ferrari, there are simply not enough roasting hot or tight twisty tracks for your car to have taken the title against a fast, fully reliable Merc.

Not good enough on the reliability front either.

Absolutely battered at crucial tracks like Silverstone and Spa plus if the Merc needed to run at full beans, like it does in Q3 qually modes to bag the poles, or like it did with Lewis’s new unit for the whole race in Brazil, no chance.

Plus dare one say it, not good enough for the lead driver over the entire season despite some very good races and absolutely not good enough by the number 2 driver who can barely take a point away from the number 1 Merc…

Not good enough to be happy with an improvement or be better than the Honda and Renault PUs 😉

Solution to challenge with the 2017 pace, sign Dan Ric and Alonso 😉

5

Battered at Spa?! Maybe you meant to say Monza? Spa was extremely close run, Ferrari looking to have the quicker car, but tucked up behind Hamilton the whole race.

Agreed that they would do better with that pairing, but they’ve made their bed. If they have a sizeable car advantage, then Seb will stroll to his 5th. That’s what he’s hoping for.

6

Battered at Spa.?
Even Seb admited that he should have got Lewis at the restart.
It was definately the best defensive move of the season, feathering the throttle down the hill to keep the Ferrari close so Seb had no run at him on the straight….and to think people used to say Lewis wasn’t that bright. LOL!

7

If Vettel has finished P2 in Singapore GP and lost the championship by a small margin to Hamilton, I am sure James Allen, Hamilton fans and other expert commentators would have found reasons to say how Vettel was not brave enough or aggressive enough to stand his ground and defend his position and how he lost the championship by playing it safe.
No matter what he does, he will never be good enough for the likes of them. They will find reasons to criticise and talk up their favourite drivers.

8

Still with the Persecution Complex?

9

It wasn’t the car or the team that lost the championship(s), it was Vettel himself making silly mistakes, poor choices and errors of judgement.

10

vettel referred to stirling moss’ comments about fangio..i wonder if he or any of the current drivers could made similar comments about their teammates?

11

An entertaining presser. The pressure is really off these guys and it shows in the relaxed mood at the conference. As Seb said, this presser could have been so much more tense (Remember the Abu Dhabi 2016 presser ? ).

Pretty foolish of Seb to play right down Lewis’s alley – Spain has been a long time ago, but Austin just a few weeks ago … Seb threw a full toss and Lewis treated it with the disdain it deserved 🙂

8 world titles between us – An epic line , contender for statement of the year 🙂

12

Ferrari needs a guy like Briatore-a hustler- and they need Verstappen- another hustler..

13

You would have thought that might have happened in years gone by….maybe they work for different mobs :-). Is Flava Flav still banned?

14

Not much difference between the two in performance as both performed at a high level. Both made mistakes in qualifying and races but up until Austria, both Hamilton and Vettel were on equal level, performance wise. Both extracted the maximum from their cars in almost all the qualifying sessions and races with their unofficially designated number twos sometimes getting the better of them. Vettel had the weaker teammate in Raikkonnen, while Hamilton’s owns teammate, Bottas, was younger and hungrier and took two wins and points away from both title contenders. Conversely, Hamilton had the faster car but performed poorly in two qualifying sessions while Vettel, just extracted that teensy weensy bit more despite the slower car with an overall better package. Vettel’s words, not mine.

In my opinion, prior to Siverstone, Vettel performed better than Hamilton and it reflected in the points with the German leading by 20 points.

And then came Silverstone. First, with a bad 1st few laps being overtaken by Verstappen and second, with Ferrari’s tire mishaps coupled with Hamilton’s almost perfect weekend which culminated in a grand chelem, the title race was even again.

Vettel comes back with a gritty drive to win in Hungary while Lewis had a bad qualifying session but made up for it with a better Sunday.

Much has been said about Baku and Singapore as turning points but for me it was Spa. Vettel had the car and the pace plus the help of two safety cars to grab the lead from Hamilton but did not have the racecraft on that particular day, as he would later admit after the race. Hamilton was superb that weekend with his pace, race management and racecraft. Vettel said that he learned something that day while Hamilton showed the same craft he has always had ever since he broke into F1 in 2007 to stifle the advances of his 2 time, reigning champion teammate. He gave us glimpses of it throughout his career when he was battling drivers with similar abilities in equal performance cars. 2014 comes to mind when Rosberg pushed him to the limit in both qualifying and races. Bahrain showed Hamilton’s class as he held off his teammate in the same car but with softer and faster compound. He did the same with Vettel in Spa. It was a great display between two fast and fierce competitors

Monza broke the camel’s back. while Singapore, Malaysia and Japan, sank the whole ship.

Vettel should be proud of his performance this year. His only real mess up was Baku and he came out ahead of his main rival that day. Singapore, despite the risky move was not his fault, at all. In fact, he was a victim that day as he got collected by his teammate while Hamilton passed Ricciardo at the start to take the lead after Vettel retired. It was reliability that really lost him the championship but Hamilton must also be commended for grabbing the bull by the horns and running with it. His run of poles and wins from Silverstone to Austin was truly outstanding.

15

Spa was probably a good race to match the qualities of the two cars. Long straights for good engines and sweeping corners that reward good aero and chassis. It’s just a shame you generally need a very long straight followed by a tight corner to overtake as it will seemingly always be a problem for anyone challenging a Merc during this PU era…..and yes I know Max was an exception to that, before a million fan boys correct me 😉

16

safety car was good for ham, not vet, because it stoppered a undercut.

17

But, clearly, neither Vettel nor Ferrari have learned from their failures in 2017. They blamed suppliers for their reliability issues and every driver except Vettel for the on track incidents leading to DNF’s or big point losses. Only when Vettel admits his weakness (poor race craft and decision making) and Ferrari theirs (inadequate engineering standards) will they truly see the way to winning the WC.

18
sorry to correct you but....

Do Ferrari make sparkplugs then? 🙂

19
Ricciardo Aficionado

Hi James I really enjoyed this press conference. I thought your questions were really on point and uncovered some interesting thoughts on the season gone. It had a post season summary show feel to it except with the real players talking instead of ted kravitz. No offence to him, really enjoyed his Abu dahlia paddock intro piece. What is it? “Paddock pass” or something?
I thought the vibe was a return to some kind of respect between the two champs. Danny Ric was an interesting inclusion. Nice that they didn’t go all blockbuster with Max.
I thought DRs tone was pretty much right for the season he’s had. Good to hear him say he needs to improve his game over the winter. Never heard that before. He’ll be dangerous with a bit of improvement.
Also, as a P.S… You called Ham the standout driver of his generation… Is he really any better than this?
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YR6jqr8gQ2o
KRB’s stats investigation has revealed he might not even be the second best of his generation.

20

thanks for the reminder… awesome!

21

RA, I would have hoped you could see that even without the best car, Hamilton was judged highly by the team principals, between 2008-12. Alonso was also. Obviously those at the front get some benefit in terms of the points awarded to them.

I will get the full 9 season ranking to you in a bit. Maybe the results of the 10th poll will be out by then too.

22

Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it

As you say the right combo

Killer line of DR “we have 8 works titles between us”!!

23

It was a good interview James…enjoyed it.

24

While I personally believe that Mercedes was ‘managing’ the competition, and was the architect of an engineered illusion of competition, thus, in reality, always out of reach for Ferrari, and I am a fan of Vettel, his later-in-the-season successive meltdowns in many ways represents the lowest point in his driving career for him personally.
Only time will tell if Mercedes will dominate this entire era of this engine formula, or not, but the pattern thus far has been one of having a seemingly unlimited advantage of parts/PU upgrades “in the bag” for use when the next best team gets too close/too far out of easy reach for them to claim the championship at the flag, with not-so-much stress on the hearts of the corporate directors, as this season showed us, the championship effectively out of reach of Vettel/Ferrari with quite a few more races in the bag then when they got to mathematical win (two races to go).

25

@dean

Are Ferrari or Vettel that incompetent that they lost both titles despite the fact that Mercedes were letting them win?

26

Mercedes really do control the sport, they can even blow up Ferrari’s engines and force drivers from other teams to crash into each other.

27

No not this year

They got spanked in a number of races like Bahrain, Budapest etc

There was nothing managed about that

28

As a final note, I submit the evidence of the final race results of 2017, where Mercedes has nothing left to hide, and show their true domination!
A damning piece of evidence in my opinion.

Kudos to moderators, (and of course you, James, our host), thanks for making this yet the best F1 conversation site on the planet!

To the ‘usual suspects’ thanks for all the chuckles.

29

I respectfully disagree; the Mercedes dominance was assured.
As stated before, they have been running the gauntlet of fans abandoning the sport, thus shriveling their return on investment.
Last year, we were ‘entertained’ by the fratboy-like ‘rivalry’ between Lewis and Nico, but fans still left!
This year they had to make it look closer; they didn’t care who it was, either Red or Purpleblue; Ferrari did make substantial progress on almost all areas of their car, but the advantage Mercedes built up in a. engine (especially during the token-controlled engine development part of the current era), and b. aero/mechanical, put them into a league of their own.
After the indicated races where Vettel won, Mercedes bounced right back, and took the wins, seemingly easily.
The clincher was in Monza. It sure looked like Mercedes were ‘rubbing their noses in it’; and I am not the only one who thinks like that, nor comments to this effect.
But the baseline numbers don’t lie, and you, James, could overlay the Sky audience figures for the year, and even number views/comments to your web site, and see the deterioration of viewership.
The other baseline number that doesn’t lie is the championship results since the first year of the hybrid-turbo era, including the constructors totals for this year, which clearly show no doubt!

BTW James, when do you think that the championship was effectively in the bag, following which race?

To the other posters who don’t seem to like having views differing from their own, and “don’t post as much as” they “would like.”, so that it drives them “nuts!!!!”: maybe they are already nuts, and that’s okay, they should embrace their inner squirrel, and stop taking the ‘sport’ of F1 so seriously, let alone what other people think of the (absence of) competition.

The facts speak loud, and the facts cited above are the loudest and ultimately, the only ones that matter.

Anyone who doesn’t think that a corporate entity (team) which is able to establish an insurmountable advantage, but must support the perception of close competition, so manages the perception of close competition to ensure the return on their investment, as a very plausible possibility is either (potentially honestly) uninformed, or straight shill (if there is such a thing as ‘straight’ shill).

More managing the perception, is what it looks like.

30

Actually, there were rumours that Ferrari were going to line up two abreast, ala Merc in Monza, after they win the race in dominant fashion in Singapore, where incidentally, Mercedes qualified in 5th and 6th, as payback towards their rivals.

But Verstappen ruined that plan by outqualifying Kimi to line up in the front row with Vettel. The Finn then tried to make amends and had a great start but ended up tangling with the Dutch and eventually takes out his German teammate.

Plans scuppered.
Domination thwarted.
Formation aborted.
Title gone.

It wasn’t performance that beat Vettel and Ferrari this year, it was bad luck and unreliability. It was close even after Monza but Singapore broke the camel’s back, Malaysia drove the stake in and Japan twisted the knife.

Oh yeah, with regards to dwindling fans, it’s called demographics. They are a changin’. F1 is just one of many distractions that they can entertain themselves with nowadays. It’s not as important for them as it is for me and you.

F1 will never go back to it’s glory days regardless of the regs, competition or the marketing.

31

Dean. It’s interesting that you say that fans still left last year, and that they continue to abandon the sport this year. Where did you get that information?

32

The question over who had the fastest car is debatable and a matter of opinion.
To believe that Mercedes ” managed” the championship is quite frankly absurd.
Trouble is those that believe in conspiracy theories become more entrenched in there misguided beliefs the more evidence to the contrary they are shown.
Its pointless debating with them.

33

Extremely well said Dean. When there is as much money involved, whether that’s F1, American sports, the world game to name a few, the most important aspect is the ‘ show’.
To think they can’t be manipulated as a result is naivety of the highest order.

34

Such posts from Dean Cassady and Sarsippious are the reason I don’t post as much as I would like.

I support LH but I can admit when he makes an idiot of himself and I can give credit where credit is due.

The Stewards viewed the Telemetry data form Baku and cleared LH of brake testing yet people will not accept that as it does not suit their agenda.

Like wise the Mercedes must be the fastest car on the grid to expal

lain why their favourite team/driver did not win.

I believe that the concensus in the paddock is that the Ferrari has been marginally the faster car this year.

It’s great to have lively debate but it’s the inability of certain posters to ignore/distort FACTS to support their agenda drives me nuts!!!!!

Must give you a laugh tho.

Always enjoy reading the articles James.

35

Unfortunately, this seems to be the way media and politics is going – people insisting that white is black and black is white when any reasonable person can see this clearly isn’t the case. It’s turning me off of all sorts of news and media. It’s good that many on here are challenging those who try to bring it onto this forum.

36

Ha ha, the sites very own Inspector Clouseau strikes again!

37

I don’t think it’s as black and white with which car was quickest. It was relative to which tracks suited each cars characteristics. The Merc did seem to be the better car after spa (around the time of the oil burn issue) and HAM seemed to raise his game. Vettel may have won in Brazil but was still outqualified by the merc number 2 driver. I would agree with one of the comments above that the merc had the engine and the Ferrari had the chassis.

38

@ Buzzzzz the WCC tells a different story. Mercedes may have dropped the ball on a couple of occasions but they have the fastest and most reliable car on the grid…bar none.

39

Ken

WCC tells a different story because Vettel has managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with incidents in Baku, Singapore and Ferrari with spark plugs in Malaysia, Ferrari is faster in race trim in Merc but as you say not as reliable!!

40

Weren’t Mercedes faster in Baku though? Hamilton would have walked it without the head rest issue.

Singapore was the old Kimi Max Vettel carbon fibre shards display as seen before at Spa 2016. When those three are top 3 on the grid carnage always seems just round the corner.

41

I guess he’s saying that w/o Vettel’s road rage incident, that he would’ve capitalized fully on Lewis’ headrest issue. Merc were definitely quickest in qualifying at Baku, and Hamilton seemed to be in total control (although not streaking away) in the race.

On an aside, just read about Michael Owen having his first ride today as a pro jockey. It sounds as though he looked the part too. He said he lost 20 lbs in order to do it. Always knew he was into horse racing, but that’s really into it (or onto it, rather). I’m sure that’s why SAF signed him up in the tail end of his career … so they could talk horses.

42

I find it weird ” Buzzzzzzzz” that as an avid reader and participant of this wonderful site since its inception that I’ve never seen a post with your name carrying one star, or two stars, or even three stars, yet suddenly you pop up with four stars omplaining about posters that don’t share your views. Hows that possible i wonder…
Feel free to make me eat my words by proving my assumption wrong upon which ill give you a very public and unreserved apology.

43

Geezus, I think you should just go back to bed Sars … not your day today obviously. And then start penning that apology after a nice nap. Maybe some food too, to ward off any hangriness. 😃

Buzzzz has been around a long time. Why start from the assumption that everyone is a fake or a plant?

44

Well things have been weird around here lately KRB I’m sure you’ll agree.
As for me I probably should have gone to bed as I was a few hours post op, wrist reconstruction fusion, and rather off my tree on Endone at the Gold Coast University Hospital.
So considering the weight of evidence against me I believe I do owe buzz the promised apology.
“Buzzzzzz, I whole heartedly wish to express my utter dismay that you are in fact, real. My assumption you were someone else was clearly wrong and as a result I’ve not only embarrassed myself but also brought shame to my family, friends and all who know me. May you and your knight in shining armour, talking at you C63 ( hopefully you didn’t waste to many hours searching through your archives 😉) and anyone that I offended take solice and enjoyment in my word eating abilities. No doubt many here are savouring the sight.
May there be a lesson for others here that admitting when your wrong isn’t that hard a task an to try it themselves sometimes.
Sars out!

45

hopefully you didn’t waste to many hours searching

Lol – it only takes a few moments. It’s not like rummaging through the attic looking for something. Just search your emails with whichever keyword is appropriate and….voila, follow the link, copy/paste and you’re done.

46

No weirder than usual I thought!

I won’t ask what you were doing to put your wrist out. 😉

Whoa, that’s some serious stuff you’re on there. Oxycontin is basically its name over here. Yeah, opiods and F1 commenting don’t mix!!

Well, I’m glad for your apology. Love the first line too, quite hilarious. Spot on that admitting to being wrong is a strength, and not a failing. Of course, it’s better to self-regulate and catch any errors before hitting Submit, but I’ve looked, and “I was on Oxycodone!!” is on the list of acceptable reasons for not exercising due dilegence when commenting. 😀

47

Thanks KRB. Its been a combination of breaks over the past decade that it come about. Once the pain block they administered wore off and the opioids began to bare the brunt of the relief efforts it hasnt been nearly as bearable but hey, its called living.
Glad i managed to get a laugh out of you and may i never need to eat so many words again as i did Friday evening.
Enjoy the race and i look forward to normal transmission resuming in 14 hours or so😁

48

And just one more for y(our) delectation – this one’s after his visit to Mercedes with JA.

5
5:46 pmOctober 16, 2015
Buzzzzzzzzzz1 Star2 Star3 Star4 Star
C63
It was an unbelievable experience, I was very lucky to go.
To stand next to the last F1 car Schumacher drove was very moving!

49

Here’s another – would you like gravy with your crow pie Sars?

64
5:40 pmDecember 11, 2014
buzzzzzzzz1 Star2 Star3 Star4 Star
It’s still bloody impressive!

50

Thanks for the support C63! Mucho appreciated.

51

You’re very welcome Buzzzzz.
Sars has got a bee in his bonnet about posters using multiple aliases and wants them banned on [his] suspicion alone – hey, maybe that’s why he picked on you buzzzz, bee 🙂 .

52

Feel free to make me eat my words by proving my assumption wrong upon which ill give you a very public and unreserved apology.

Here you go Sars – get ready to apologise. You’ve picked on the wrong with Buzzzzzzz. If memory serves, I believe he also accompanied JA and other lucky winners on a tour of the Mercedes facility at Brackley. (perhaps you aren’t quite as avid a reader as you might think)

93
8:43 amNovember 8, 2015
Buzzzzzzzzzz1 Star2 Star3 Star4 Star
C63
I expect better of you.
Now you sound like Sebee
The Williams was very quick for that race and if Hamilton had not run out of fuel he would have started on pole and won.
To say Bernie fixed it to win is rubbish.
Those sort of “fixes” do not happen, “fixes” arranged by Briattore do.
The teams can’t even agree what engines to run and you think that they will give a race to Frank.

53

How can one brake test without using the brake?

You have now changed your tune saying Lewis lifted off the throttle to back up the field, all the drivers do that and it’s Vettels fault he was going too fast or was too close,.

So you have admitted you were wrong, he was not using the brake, I am awaiting your public and unreserved apology!

54

I think you have been watching a different season!

You don’t think everyone let Hamilton win every race?

I can see the facts James. On pace they push a button and have pole position too often 2014-2017.

55

The imposter Random 79 strikes again!!

56

yes but that was first half of season..clearly they with Allison worked on removing most gremlins in the car as toto mentioned in interview. How improved there car was on supersoft after summer break?

57

Seb did what he could. Ultimately fell short to the king, better luck next year. Leave the red mist at home.

Ferrari had the better car, lewis/mercedes better team. If they engineer the bad traits out of the w08, I fear another title for the boy. 2018 can’t come quick enough.

58

@Oblah, 10 points for being spot on with your comment , even the great
Niki Lauda confirms that.

59

Ferrari better chassis, Mercedes better engine in full fat mode.

60

Did your phone change “flat chat” to “full fat”?

61

@nickh
Exactly nick👍🏻

62

I think Spa was a really intense race…..I probably had sort of a chance but he was very clever defending, up the hill, up Eau Rouge.

@LKFE and Twitch – there you go, straight from the horses mouth. Good enough for you 😉

63

@c63

You could tell the posters here who have an agenda. They will even dispute the driver they are “supposedly” defending just to devalue the accomplishments of the driver that they least like.

Someone actually disputes Fernando Alonso saying that Lewis is one of the greatest drivers in the sport.

Someone actually disputes Sebastian Vettel saying that Hamilton did not brake test him.

Someone actually disputes Vettel saying that he didn’t do a good job at an overtaking attempt during the restart in Spa.

Someone is actually disputing Sebastian Vettel saying that Hamilton did great at defending in Spa.

Someone is actually disputing Sebastian Vettel saying that “overall, we have the best package.”

Hmmm, who should I believe, F1 drivers or anonymous posters? Hmmmm…

This year was a hard year to accept for the people who dislike Hamilton. After preseason, the consensus was Ferrari had the best car and Vettel will be champion again. A lot of hearts sank after Mexico.

The truth is that Vettel did a great job but Hamilton was just better.

Mercedes was exceptional while Ferrari stunk, stunk, stunk.

64

C63, probably not…..

65

Seb’s right, Ferrari did a great job this year…..

66

Like this Tim, subtle 😂

67
Britney come back

Mercedes is still 130 points in front of the second best team and they are starting 3 out of 4 races from pole position so they are clearly still the car to beat. Still 5 race wins for Vettel is better than Alonsos lonely sixth place in one race. F1 needs the prospect of a different champion at the end of next year, be it Vettel or Verstappen or the loss of marketshare to Netflix and Amazon Prime will accelerate further. Bottas can´t do it or if he could isnt allowed, Ricciardo is second fiddle at Red Bull and Alonso is driving a McLaren. Rosberg come back, all is forgiven ? Sport as home entertainment is going out of fashion fast, see NFL, ESPN ratings, Discovery (paid too much for olympics) stock price and now 21Century Fox (Sky) for sale. Another easy Hamilton WDC with a soft teammate is not gonna help !

68

I find it amusing in a sarcastic way that people seem to have a problem with Hamilton collecting WDC’s easily and frequently demand that Hamilton should have equal competition to make F1 interesting. Really ? Do those posters know anything about the history of F1? The dominance of Jim Clark in the 1960’s, the dominance of Senna and Prost in 1980’s and 90’s , the dominance of MS in late 1990’s and early 2000’s and finally the dominance of Vettel in 2010 thru 2013?

These posters need to explain why Hamilton’s dominance seems to disturb them so much. Methinks there may be a bit of Trumpism underlying those protests against Hamilton

69

Right now I see iman42’s post as being greyed out, with a -269 in terms of “upvotes”. What’s going on there JA?

70
britney stay home

The power of Trump, lol

71

I propose what the F1 world would react if Lewis just quites F1 now?
Whats the point of making a history? Hes got nothing to prove anymore. Does legend live a better life?

72

@ Kevin…he won’t quit. His ego wouldn’t let him. All those piles of $$$ plus the fastest car on the planet and hordes of screaming fans.

73

I can assure you he won’t hang around and fade like Kimi has. I’ll be surprised if he’s racing at 36. I guess that would be the first year of a new F1 (2021) so perhaps he’ll do one year of that.

74

Luckily you’re not bitter though 🙂

75

Yeah…that spa race and the restart and the viewing angles is easily my most memorable battle of the season. It looked great and they were both on it…Wish more races were like that. A proper nail-biter. Let’s hope they are evenly matched and reliability isn’t an issue next year.

76

(Warning: This post contains bragging)

I was lucky enough to be at Spa, and watched Vettel and Hamilton virtually alongside down the Kemmel Straight – looked for all the world that Vettel would have taken the lead but he just ran out of room.

77

Yes is very possible. Mercedes and Red Bull should improve too so which will be best I don’t know. We will have to wait and see.

I also wonder where McLaren and Renault will be?

78

Wandering around back at the back of the grid with humongous grid drops like Renault engined teams have been all year. Maybe more so now that they have to try and do the year on 3 engines!!! What a joke.

79

Agreed. Woking may howl loud and long next season.

80

alonso has a perfect idea of how competitive he’ll be so he has planned for non f1 races to make up for it..

81

I think vettle has finally realised that lewis is the real deal and to beat him no mistakes.

Seriously vettle has to lose the hot headed man he is to even think off beating lewis….vettle had proper competition this year and he crumbled…he has learned that lewis gets stronger with pressure…..alot to think about over winter for him

82

vettel has known how good hamilton is from being whipped in formula 3. i remember vettel raving about hamilton’s performance while he was a test driver back in 2007.

83
The Grape Unwashed

@ P 82, credit to Seb he freely admitted “the best man” won this season – I think he’ll be desperate for payback next year, it could get pretty spicy!

84
Ricciardo Aficionado

Yes, agree with this entirely. I would also add that Ferrari need to step up with their operations. If they indeed did have the fastest car this year then it was the faultless execution by Toto and the team that won this Championship… Plus Ham.

85

I wonder if Ferrari will praise Vettel’s progress?

2017 – Golden. Opportunity. Squandered.

86

That he squandered an opportunity in the second best car to win a 5th WDC.
Doubt it.

87

he did squander a huge chance of winning 2017. he had raikkonen racing for him too..

88
The Grape Unwashed

Second best car? You’ve not been listening to the experts: Mark Hughes, Allan McNish and Tony Dodgins all reckon Ferrari was the best car this year. Karun Chandhok has said Channel4 is going to show his analysis of the Ferrari on Saturday – from what he’s said so far, you’ll probably want to avoid that as well.

89

Wow the experts have spoken and so it shall be. You should try washing yourself for once grape as you might find thinking and forming an opinion on you’re own is actually quite satisfying.

90

Yeah, a guy sitting on the counch would know better than ex- F1 drivers. WYF? Are you fing SERIOUS, DUDE LOL???

91
The Grape Unwashed

you might find thinking and forming an opinion on you’re own is actually quite satisfying

@Sarsippious, I prefer to listen to what the experts say and then draw my own conclusions based on their evidence.

If you can’t quote experts who support the view you hold, it might be that the world is blind and you are the heroic torchbearer of truth – hey anything’s possible! – but it’s not very likely, is it?

92

vettel couldn’t beat hamilton in 2017 with raikkonen racing for him in a ferrari which was good enough to win without raikkonen’s help. when will vettel win a championship without newey,?i wonder.
i hope you now understand why hamilton is described as the best ever f1 driver..

93

Hamilton is almost there, clearly the best driver on the current grid and one of the four greatest drivers in the history of F1. Period, End of story !!!

94

well 14 poles mercedes 5 poles Ferrari is a clear statement. it shows that some posters here don’t understand f1

95

The 14 poles for Mercedes in 2017 merely shows why Hamilotn is considered, along with Senna, the greatest qualifier in F1 history . Just saying. LOL !!!

96

is that why the trophies and points are awarded straight after qualifying?

97

tp win a title you need reliability as well.

98

@ Sars….I don’t know whether or not you caught the pre practice chat with Brundle but he said that he had sighted some data re the relative power outputs of the four different engines. Admittedly i did not catch all of it but i do recall that he said something along the lines of, ‘ Mercedes enjoy a 2% margin over Ferrari and 6% over Renault’, and i missed the Honda figures entirely. That shines some light on the variances plus the fact that in the last race Mercedes turned the wick up to full beanz at level11, whatever that means. I’m sure someone will post the actual verbatim comments soon enough.

99

Ultimately Hp is the key factor with these cars of which the Merc, as supported by Brundle which you stated, had and still maintains over Ferrari.
Now had Lewis not binned in during the first qualifying in Brazil, he undoubtedly would have put that car on pole and raced away for an easy victory so i take Vettels win there as opportunistic based on Hamiltons error and a tame defending effort into that first corner from Bottas. We all saw how superior the Merc was with Hamitons recovery drive especially when they arent managing the engine output and the wick is fully ignited.
Ferrari certainly closed the gap this year and whilst a part of that was due to the improved power unit i believe it can mainly be attributed to the aerodynamics and chassis. The ability to maintain optimal pace in dirty air without the tyres suffering as much as the Merc appeared to do was, in my opinion anyway, the reason we saw them as close as they were, not because they had the fastest car as many vehemently imply.
The championship was always Mercedes to lose from the beginning.

100

Ha ha, so the Merc is a whole 2% more powerful than the Ferrari? What a rocketship that Merc is…….

101

2% can be the difference between P1 and P2, but that 2% would be race mode, Q3 power boost would be much more than that compared to Ferrari.

102

Jimothy. You have no idea if the 2% is race mode or not, but lets assume that it is, two engine within 2% of each other would be deemed to be equal, you could easily have a 2% difference between two versions of the same engine! You, as always forget that Ferrari have a quali mode as well, what is the power difference between theirs and Merc’s? That’s right, you have no idea.

103

Why are there 2 TimW’s? one was more than enough

104

Q3 power boost would be much more than that compared to Ferrari.

I’m not saying you wrong, because I don’t know – just like you!

105

The Merc V8 apparently had a bhp advantage as well, but the Renault was the best engine between 2010-13, with better efficiency, mapping, and driveability.

So it’s not all about horsepower. That’s just an easy excuse.

The Ferrari PU was said to be less than 10 bhp down on the Merc. That is near nothing.

106

There are many within the F1 paddock who believe the Ferrari was the better car. James has alluded to questions being asked at Ferrari as to whether Vettel is the guy to get them a title.

107

Shows how good Vettel is, he made people believe Ferrari is the best car.

108

so good at crashing into other cars too..for no reason..

109

Sure, that’s the ticket! 😉

110

The Ferrari being the second best car is your opinion Sarsippious, many people whose job it is to know these things think differently.

111

If Ferrari is better, how do you explain VB beating Seb seven times this year? Do you really think VB is capable of beating him in a slower car?

112

Jimothy. The Merc is quicker at some circuits, the Ferrari at others. Overall, the two have been evenly matched, but the Ferrari has been slightly ahead in races, while the Merc has had a slight edge in qualifying.

113

explain VB beating Seb seven times

It’s because the superiority of the cars has been largely dependant on which circuit they have been racing at. Looking at the season overall though, there is a decent argument to be had over which car has been the better. Vettel/Ferrari’s biggest failing has been they didn’t capitalise at a couple of the circuits where they had superiority and it hurt their title campaign badly.

114

And many who don’t.
See Tim i can play this game too although i find it all rather pointless and a waste of time to be honest. Enjoy👍

115

Sars, round two of the game is where I come up with an incident that was Lewis’ fault, and I said so at the time, and you come up with an example of you saying something along the lines of “Lewis did nothing wrong there”. It’s funny, but I’m always happy to play this round, but you never are…..

116

I thought the best comment from this presser was Ricciardo saying that there were 8 world titles between the three of them!

Hopefully it won’t be long before he has a shot at balancing the ledger.

117

Collective mistakes? More like a driver wasting three golden opportunities of victory in Baku, Singapore and Mexico City! In particular, the first lap incidents in South East Asia and the New World were utterly ludicrous and unforgiveable for an experienced, seasoned 30 year old veteran.

Those lost 75 points ultimately was the difference between glory and humiliating defeat – and it was all the responsibility on the drivers shoulders.

The difference between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel is an acronym: TCUP – Think Clearly Under Pressure. And obviously the German couldn’t in the heat of the moment in 2017!

118

Yes, and full credit To VET for standing up and accepting responsibility, which is more than I can say for a certain fellow who came in second last year. Ferrari has poor reliability in the second half of the season and it would have been ease to pin the the loss on the team as HAM and ALO would be quick to do.

119

Totally agree GazBoy. Vettel just Has no race craft a slap dash drip of a driver ! Unable to mix it with the big boys Lewis Alonso Max Ricciardo even Ocon.

120

i thought vettel and hamilton hare the only two drivers to have led tgis year’s drivers championship.
alonso verstappen ocon and ricciardo were no where to be seen..

121

RE Mexico I don’t believe there’s much else he could have done with such a long drag down to turn1. He tried to run Max out of road, which he almost did. I think Max had 1 wheel just on the white line when he overtook.

The other two granted were grave errors.

122

Granted, but he did run into the back of two separate cars…

123

Baku was caught out by some brake checking gamesmanship/blatant cheating. Singapore was caught unaware, as every other driver both past and present would’ve been by a zero percent move on Verstappens part. I’ll grant you may have a point with Mexico however I doubt you’d be so critical if the driver in question was of a British back ground.

124

What nonsense, Again, Hamilotn DID NOT brake test in Baku. You are like a Trump supporter, a beliver in alternative facts. LOL

125

vettel’s brain fell apart in baku. he crashed into his opponent twice on purpose for no reason.
vettel himself said he wasn’t brake tested..

126

That’s the spirit Sars – wild and inaccurate accusations of cheating.
Still, it’s good to see you’re doing your bit to try and ensure we don’t get a them and us divide with a negative undertone which permeates throughout the site…..I know you wouldn’t like that.

127

Oh dear……. here we go again.

128

Sars, this is what I mean by the anti’s bringing up incorrect information, again and again and again. THERE WAS NO BRAKE CHECK! The FIA telemetry showed it clearly. Running into the back of Hamilton in Baku is all on Vettel … there simply was no need for him to get that close or to be accelerating like he thought Hamilton might bolt for the restart then.

Let’s wait another few days before someone tries the same accusation, again and again and again.

129

Have you seen the telemetry yourself KRB or are you and indeed the rest of you guys metely taking Sullivans word on the matter. I for one
The esteemed Ferrari boss was also sceptical of the ruling as were others.
I cant help but chuckle at those here that bemoan the inconsistencies shown by many of the chief stewards yet when its their favourite driver at the centre of the controversy suddenly they are on point and never wrong
.http://www.espn.com.au/f1/story/_/id/19739681/ferrari-stewards-decisions-not-entirely-clear-baku

130

Except Lewis did no such thing at Baku- his telemetry showed he did absolutely nothing different to the previous lap, Seb was just too close and got caught out. This isn’t my opinion, this is proven fact.

131

Whilst the data may not have been consistent with brake checking by its definition it did however show he backed off the throttle mid and post apex in a manner inconsistent with what he done the previous laps.
Hamiltons intent was clear in that he delibetately manipulated the speed of his car in an endeavour to force an error on Vettels part.
No doubt you guys call it racing. I call it blatant cheating and poor sportsmanship.

132

he delibetately manipulated the speed of his car in an endeavour to force an error on Vettels part

Maybe it’s just me – but isn’t that part of Hamiltons job? Equally, isn’t it part of Vettel’s job to deal with it? They are competing after all.

133

where did you see what you claim? hamilton, vettel and the stewards all said hamilton did exactly the same on the previous lap.. i feel sorry for you.

134

Surely the point is Sarsippious, is if anyone other than Lewis had done it, you wouldn’t call it blatant cheating, and you certainly wouldn’t still be banging on about it 5 months later! Hamilton braked up to the apex, and then coasted to the exit, there is nothing unusual in that, and no reason why Seb should have expected him to not do it. It’s interesting that you think that Lewis’ driving was inconsistent with previous laps, as the stewards found the exact opposite was true, but I guess you have better information than them?
At some point Sarsippious, you will have to accept that Lewis Isn’t responsible for every incident he is involved in, obviously you really really want him to be to blame every single time, but there will always be times when he isn’t. This incident was a good opportunity for you guys to at least give the impression of having some balance, but instead you have done what you always do, and ignore all the facts and blame Lewis anyway!

135

Putting words in my mouth again Tim, do you evdr get sick of it?
If you had paid attention you’d have noticed i hadnt instigated the reopening of the incident for it was Gazboy who mentioned the incident in his critique of Vettel.
And honestly, you harping at others about being fair and unbiased towards your hero is comical, still…

136

Sarsippious. How am I putting words in your mouth? You clearly are still banging on about it?! You have come up with a completely imaginary version of events that contradicts all the evidence, and then of course exaggerated it even further by deciding that Lewis did the whole thing deliberately! Don’t even talk to me about balance Sars, you have none.

137

Well said !!!

138

if you paid attention to the race in baku, you wouldn’t have claimed hamilton brake tested vettel nor blatantly cheated..
come on, gather yourself. i think you can make it..

139

So he explicitly didn’t do what you said he did do, but what he did do was just as bad? Gotcha

140

LOL. Sars needs to get his brain checked.

141

Wrong again! Completely 100% wrong. The FIA explicitly stated that Hamilton had driven similarly on all restart laps at that corner.

Here is the video that James did on it, in his role with FOM:

https://youtu.be/79D0axLDw30

Sars, you should admit when you’re wrong. Otherwise as C63 stated up above, you are just being the cancer that you railed about only days ago.

142

Did you not watch Vettels safety car restart in Mexico.?
Nothing wrong with it……but he controlled the pace in a far more erratic way than Hamilton in Baku.

143

Spot on Gazza – the commentary team on C4 even remarked upon it and said what a good tactic it was. Bottas, presumably because he was paying attention, managed to avoid crashing into the back of Vettel though. Consequently nothing has been made of it.

144
sorry to correct you but....

The FIA examined the telemetry records and ruled that Hamilton did not ‘brake check’ Vettel, so why persist with regurgitating nonsense? Vettel overreacted when he got too close and let his attention slip for a split second, he then subsequently paid a price for his OTT reaction. I doubt he’ll be as silly again.

145

It’s always nice to have some balance, isn’t it Sarsippious…..

146

Some of us have to be the salt to balance out these threads from alll your sweet Hamilton sugar 😉

147

Why are you still trying to blame Lewis for Vettel’s hot-headedness? He should have been black flagged for deliberately hitting Lewis. I am also amazed at the lack of comment abou Vettel’s actions at the safetly car restart in Mexico. Vettel almost stopped when backing the field up making Baku look like Lewis hadn’t tried.

148

Nothing to do with nationality, everything to do with objectivity. Throwing away a golden opportunity of victory when starting from pole position because of an over reaction on the first lap is very poor driving indeed.

149

hamilton gave vettel so many lessons from all aspects of racing this season. from following closely at high sped to low speed, to not taking the eye off the ball to being respectful of others. i wonder if he has more to learn..

150

Sarsippious

Don’t let the fact that Hamiltons telemetry was examined by the stewards and he was cleared of brake testing get in the way of the “facts” as you want them to be …….likewise the Ferrari is generally considered to be marginally the faster car in race trim this season.

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