Sebastian Vettel lost out on the 2018 title to Hamilton, despite being in the lead early on in the season.
The tide completely shifted into Hamilton’s favour after grave mistakes from Vettel in Hockenheim and Monza.
For a large part of the season, it was reported that Ferrari had the better package in terms of pace and performance, something that was also visible by the race data made available to the public.
Mercedes too have been going on and on about how Ferrari had the dominant car for most part of the year, but still couldn’t really manage to take advantage.
Hamilton and Toto Wolff have time and again emphasised on the fact that how Ferrari have had the better package all through but still Mercedes have been able to dig deep and grind out wins.
However, Vettel feels that Ferrari have not had the dominant package, but have only slightly improved from last year, making the car competitive but not dominant.
That is maybe where I maybe have a different opinion to the rest of the people,” Vettel said as quoted by Motorsport.com
“I think it is absolutely true to say that we have a very strong car, but I think people’s perception of the fact that we had a dominant car, I don’t think it was true. I think if you look at the results I don’t see where is the dominance.” he added.
The Ferrari man then explained his reasoning behind the alleged Ferrari dominance and how it was largely visible only in Spa, and more so because of the type of track.
“I mean, in Spa we didn’t have the pole, whatever the conditions [were]. We got [the win] because of the way Spa is designed, with Eau Rouge being flat and so on.” he said.
“Obviously the advantage of the hill, last year we had a lack of horsepower and that’s why the overtaking didn’t work. This year we didn’t have [that disadvantage], so I was able to keep the benefit from the tow and I was able to pass.
“But then, as a matter of fact, Lewis was always one, two, three seconds behind. He had the same pace. We were driving to the same tenth, and at some point he gave up.
“That is why we won with an eight seconds gap. For me it’s not a dominant race. It was a very close fight. If he happens to be first on the first lap, like last year – I think we had the same pace in the race last year. He wins the race and I finish second.” he added.
Vettel reemphasised on the fact that while Ferrari did not quite dominate a race with their pace and performance, Mercedes did, like in Russia and Singapore.
“I think we had a lot of races that we were very close and we had very good pace in the race, but I don’t think we had a race where we dominated, whereas on the other hand, I think, they had. If you look at Spain, look at France, look at Russia, I don’t think we had any races like that.
“Don’t get me wrong, because I am not sitting here saying I had a bad car, not at all, because I know I have a strong car. But I don’t think, unlike the people’s perception, I don’t think we had a dominant car.” Vettel added.
Do you think Ferrari and Vettel lost because they did not have the dominant car or because they were not good enough during crunch situations in the title race, giving into pressure and losing races that they should have won comprehensively?