Sebastian Vettel reckons Ferrari will not be at a disadvantage in this weekend’s Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka especially with the weather predicted to be wet.
On few occasions earlier in the 2018 season, Ferrari seemed to be at a disadvantage as opposed to Mercedes in the wet weather conditions. It highlighted a problem for the Italian manufacturer but Vettel doesn’t think that way.
The German feels the team hasn’t lost its technical direction and isn’t bad under wet conditions as well as both he and the team chases Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes in the title battle with five races remaining.
“I don’t think it’s true, I don’t think we lost direction,” said Vettel to the media in Japan. “We made progress with our cars, the steps that we planned, the steps have been coming. Now, you never know where you are in comparison to others.
“Maybe they have done smaller steps or bigger steps, I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure speaking to all our engineers that we are where we would like to be or where we wanted to be. Of course you would like to be always further with more performance.
“But that’s the same for everyone. I think there is nothing that speaks against us in wet conditions. I think as you said, here and there it didn’t play into our hands but it won’t be like that forever, so I’m not afraid if it’s wet.”
The prediction for the weather this weekend was overly wet with a typhoon threat but it has subsided since. Thursday was predicted to be wet which it was while the current phenomenon shows cloudy weather with minimal rain for Friday to start with.
The overnight prediction from Friday to Saturday is consistent rain until the afternoon of the qualifying day with a similar trend from Saturday to Sunday during the race day. In a nutshell, rain could play a crucial role in the whole weekend.
The weather could change for better as well as we have seen in the past. But the mixed conditions will make life difficult for everyone especially the chasing pack which would want to have a normal weekend without any major dramas.
Even with all the uncertainties, Vettel maintains that he is still approaching the weekend one by one and not with a ‘do or die’ mentality. “I don’t like the now or never approach,” he said. “I don’t think there’s much sense in that.
“I didn’t know it [I finished behind Hamilton] was five out of six [races], now I know, so the secret before just now has been not to count. I think you attack every weekend, every weekend is different, the track is different, the circumstances are different.
“I’m very happy to be here. I love this track, it’s my favourite track in the world, so I’d better enjoy it and not spoil it by starting to count the things that are against me and focus on the things that are working for me.”
The German reiterated that even though Ferrari has a strong car, their advantage is and was never as huge as their rivals, media or fans made it look like. He feels they were at par mostly and on some tracks, the advantage looked bigger than it was.
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