Vettel says Ferrari's car not "as bad as it looks"
Sebastian Vettel thinks Ferrari's car is not as bad as it looks, despite rival Mercedes taking its sixth straight victory in Formula 1 this year.
While the German was able to finish second in Monaco behind race winner Lewis Hamilton, he is well aware that the result was helped by Valtteri Bottas suffering a puncture and Max Verstappen getting a penalty.
But while not having the pace to win, Vettel thinks that Ferrari's car is not as far away from Mercedes as results this year suggest – and thinks a push to add downforce to his car will pay big dividends.
Reflecting on being able to hold off Bottas in the race, Vettel said: "I saw that Valtteri was faster but there was no way he was going to pass, as our straight line speed is really good. It's just because overall we are lacking downforce, a weakness that we know.
"I don't think the car is as bad as it looks. The results should be better here and there but it's very difficult for us to get the car in the window where it is happy.
"Certainly when we get it in there we're more competitive, but still a way from where we want to be. That's really the key lesson: we need to focus on trying to get the car short-term more in that window.
"Looking forward for the next three, four, five races, obviously make sure we improve the car, put more grip onto the car so that we can go faster, simple as that."
Vettel even joked that Ferrari was in need of finding the 'grip guy', with its key struggle this year being able to switch its tyres on.
"That guy seems to hide fairly well," he said. "I don't know exactly where he is right now, so if you find him, or if you've got his number, that grip guy, we've been looking for him for a while. I don't think there are any secrets we will be able to unveil. As usual, attention to detail and a lot hard work is the only way to get us up."
Vettel also said that he was not immune from taking some of the blame for Ferrari's form this year, as he says he has not performed at his best.
"I'm part of the team so I don't put myself above [it]," he explained. "I've had some difficult moments this year where I'm fighting the car,
"I'm not really entering yet to the level where I feel a lot more comfortable and I feel comfortable to squeeze out more performance from the car. But I think it's linked to the fact that we struggle to put our car in the right window.
"Once it is there, it is feeling better and you're able to build up on that but it doesn't happen very often but it's a combination of things. I think first we are lacking overall performance and that overall performance would help us probably to put the tyres more often in the window they would like to be in.
"I think it's not a secret, by now, after six races that these tyres this year seem a bit more critical to get exactly into that window."
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