Championship Leader Sebastian Vettel is confident that the Ferrari Formula 1 team will remain in the title battle with Mercedes throughout the second-half of the 2017 season, after extending his lead to 14 points in the drivers’ championship over Lewis Hamilton following his Hungarian GP victory.
Ferrari and Mercedes have been the two teams fighting it out for victories at the front — with the latter appearing to have an edge after their defeat at the Monaco Grand Prix, however Ferrari bounced back in Budapest to claim a 1-2 finish.
Mercedes have a large advantage in the constructors’ championship over Ferrari, thanks to consistent drives by both drivers, however in the drivers’ championship, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has been heading Lewis Hamilton since the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
There were, however, suggestions that the Mercedes Formula 1 team made a development breakthrough, and fully understood how to “tame” their car, and Ferrari’s resurgence was circuit-specific, however Vettel has suggested against this.
“The team is in a much better shape this year,” F1 world championship leader Sebastian Vettel told Sky Sports F1 during Day 2 of the Budapest test.
“If you have the right results coming your way you start to pick up a bit of momentum and so it’s up to us to keep it going. But I’m quite confident we have the right people, we know how to build a strong car, and we have improved the engine this year massively, so everything is going in the right direction.
“We will see in terms of time whether we will be ahead or behind but I’m confident we will be there and hopefully fight for a lot of big points.”
The four-time F1 world champion remains proud of Ferrari’s pace during the first 11 round of the F1 season, but admits there are “some weaknesses here and there on the car”, which attention must be paid during the second half of the F1 season.
“We have been competitive everywhere we went,” he said of the season’s first 11 races, which Ferrari have won four.
“Now, it’s true to also say Mercedes here and there have been more competitive and we have been a little bit behind. We know what the car needs. It’s normal that from track to track there’s a little bit of a difference but that’s not our target.
“We want to be the best on every track we go to and we’re working on it. We have quite a good understanding of what the car needs and now we have a bit of time to look into a couple of things in a bit more peace and calm. But the most important thing is we know what we need.”