Vettel insists no problems with Ferrari boss Arrivabene

Sebastian Vettel insists that there is no problem between him and Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene, despite comments suggesting he needs to 'earn' his future at the team.

Vettel insists no problems with Ferrari boss Arrivabene
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
(L to R): Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal with Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari and Dr Helmut Marko, Red Bull Motorsport Consultant
(L to R): Christian Horner, Red Bull Racing Team Principal with Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H
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Arrivabene told Italian television over the Japanese Grand Prix weekend that there was no guarantee about Vettel earning a fresh contract for 2018, as he suggested the German also needed to not lose attention from his main job.

"Sebastian just needs to focus on the car," said Arrivabene. "He is a person who gives so much, and sometimes this means he is interested in a bit of everything - so sometimes you have to re-focus him, remind him to be focused on the main job."

Arrivabene's comments were interpreted by some as evidence of internal politics between the team boss and his driver, but Vettel made it clear that he felt things were totally fine.

"I don't know what he said so I don't want to interpret too much, but I enjoy a really good relationship with him," he said. "If there is something I don't like I tell him, and equally the other way around.

"I know there is nothing between us, nothing we need to sort out. Both our focus, his and mine, is we are trying to achieve the same thing. We are trying to win races, and get strong, especially in the future. And that is where the main focus goes."

Vettel admitted that the season had not delivered all that he and Arrivabene had hoped for, but reckoned that was not impacting on their relationship.

"Generally I enjoy a very, very straightforward relationship with him. As much as the team wants to perform, I want to perform," he said.

"I had races this year where I didn't do so and wasn't happy with myself because there was more on the table. But it has been an up and down year.

"In the end with the results we had they were not always fair and rewarding, considering the pace we showed on different weekends.

"Our main focus isn't looking too much at that. It is as a team to try to make progress until the end of this year.

"And we carry everything this year into next year, even though rules are changing. So a lot of things we learn about this year's car in general which will help us next year."

Progress

Vettel said he was encouraged that Ferrari had outqualified Red Bull around Suzuka, even though a three-place penalty he has got for a collision with Nico Rosberg in Malaysia will drop him behind them.

"It has been a track where people forecast we would be quite poor, but we had a very good day, the car felt good in qualifying and it has been very tight as well," he said.

"I think it is a combination of things. First of all the car feels a lot better than last year. I think it is a track where you need a stronger car to go faster.

"The gaps, also to the cars ahead, are a lot smaller compared to previous events. And the stuff we brought here seems to work so all in all pretty happy."

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