Motorsport

Vettel rejects fears of gremlins in Japanese Grand Prix

2017-10-05 22:29
Sebastian Vettel (Getty)

Suzuka - Sebastian Vettel has played down Ferrari's reliability issues before this week's crunch Japanese Grand Prix, insisting it was no time for panic.

The four-time world champion was bullish on Thursday despite slipping 34 points behind Mercedes title rival Lewis Hamilton after finishing fourth from stone last in Malaysia last weekend.

Vettel's hopes of catching Hamilton were boosted by the news his Ferrari will not need a new gearbox following a post-race shunt with Lance Stroll's Williams, meaning the German is set to avoid a five-place grid penalty.

But gremlins that plagued the team's weekend in Malaysia prompted a tetchy response from Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne, who admitted he was "angry" at the lack of reliability shown by the cars.

"We had a problem in Malaysia, stopping myself and Kimi," said Vettel, whose Finnish team mate Raikkonen was wheeled away from his front-row grid slot with engine failure.

"It's normal that you try to understand things. Knowing what's going on internally, there's no panic or any big plans as a reaction. Maybe it's more a coincidence between the events."

He added: "Our situation is clear: we are taking it race by race but our goal is to win every one. We can't be happy unless we perform to our limit."

Vettel is due a little good fortune after crashing from pole in Singapore three weeks ago.

"Obviously the last few races weren't great hits for us," said the former Red Bull driver.

"But sticking your head in the sand is no alternative either. I believe we have a strong car and there are plenty of races left.

"I think we have a good understanding but it's only been a couple of days," he added. "I'm pretty convinced we shouldn't have any issues here."

Vettel also refused to throw in the towel, despite a significant gap between him and Hamilton with just five races left this season.

"We are behind so it depends on what Mercedes is doing," he said.

"I think it's pretty clear we need to do our best. We are behind on points if we look at the championship, so we need to score much more than them."

Red Bull, meanwhile, have begun to flex their muscles with Max Verstappen capping his 20th birthday weekend by posting his second Formula One victory in Malaysia with Australian team-mate Daniel Ricciardo taking third.

"How we achieve it doesn't matter, as long as we achieve it," said a defiant Vettel, who has won four races this year to Hamilton's seven.

"We have the package," he added. "Now we just have to bring it to the track."

Read more on:    f1  |  sebastian vettel  |  motorsport
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

Hypothetically, given the same cars to drive, who is the most talented current Formula One driver in your opinion?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.