Vettel: ‘Ferrari still has a lot of potential to unleash’

Sebastian Vettel is confident the underlying potential of his Ferrari SF70-H will enable him to catch and overhaul Lewis Hamilton in the second part of the 2018 season.

Ferrari’s performance this year has positioned Vettel as the Mercedes driver’s only challenger for the world title, or perhaps it was the other way around until the German driver’s big mistake in his home race in Hockenheim?

Vettel was leading the championship fight from his arch-rival when Hamilton clocked in with two successive wins, in Germany and Hungary, that put the Brit in charge just before the summer break with a 24-point advantage.

    Hamilton: ‘Ferrari faster but Mercedes package delivered better’

However, a combative and confident Vettel is determined to fight back and ultimately prevail.

“We had sometimes the pendulum swinging our way, sometimes not,” he told Formula1.com.

“From my point of view I think it’s been fairly consistent. The one error that was very costly [in Germany] – that was quite small, because I wasn’t even trying but went off.

“That’s part of the game. I can’t rewind the clock. It has happened. It obviously hurt us, but I’m quite confident that if we have the car to fight with, we can put them under pressure and make things happen in the second half.”

The efforts of Ferrari’s engine department have yielded spectacular results this season, and it is generally accepted that the Italian power unit now has the edge over Mercedes’ engine.

As the two teams duke it out on the development front, Vettel is confident the Scuderia’s SF70-H will not only hold its own against the Silver Arrows but also move ahead, with more performance to be unlocked by Maranello’s engineers.

“Last year, we lost the championship I think because our car wasn’t quick enough to be a match in the final part of the season, despite what happened with the DNFs,” added Vettel.

“So I hope that this year, and I think this year has shown so far that our car is more efficient, our car is stronger and still has a lot of potential to unleash.

“I’m quite confident with what’s sitting in the pipeline that we can improve. So we’ll see. It should be an exciting second part of the year.”

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