I am my greatest enemy not Hamilton – Vettel

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As Sebastian Vettel crossed the line in fourth on Ferrari’s
home turf in Italy, he was no doubt regretting his costly
first-lap collision with Lewis Hamilton. But rather than
focus on his chief title rival – and what could have been at
Monza – the German admits he needs to turn the spotlight
on himself if he wants to get his championship bid back
on track.
Vettel’s uncharacteristic mistakes in Azerbaijan, France
and Germany – along with his setback at the last round –
have helped hand Hamilton an advantage in the title race,
with German now trailing the Brit by 30 points with just
seven races to go.
And the four-time champion isn’t hiding away. Speaking
ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, a race in which Ferrari
have been touted as favourites for victory, the Ferrari star
admitted he needs to get the best out of his SF71H
challenger – and go error-free – if he is to stand any chance
of winning a fifth world title.
“I think it is pretty straightforward for me. I think the
biggest enemy is me. We have a great car, I have
something to play with and we have all the chances to do
it in our way,” said Vettel.
“Obviously Lewis is the leader at the moment, he’s the one
ahead and he is the one to beat, but I think we have all
the chances – and how much they could be better by now
and so on is a different question.
“We still have a very good chance, and as I said, we will be
our first enemy and not him as a person or them as a
team. I think we need to look after ourselves. If we do that
we have a good chance to do well and win races and
things look good.”
So, does Vettel feel unsatisfied with the job he did at the
aforementioned races?
“Well, now no, but I think on the day it was a different
story. I think it is normal that you do a lot of races and
some you feel you could have done better or should have
done better for different reasons.
“We will be our first enemy, not Lewis as a person or
Mercedes as a team” – Sebastian Vettel
“I think there were also other races where we shouldn’t
have done so well and we did. But for sure the worst one
was Germany. I think most important is that I know what
happened and I can explain it and then everyone is free to
have their own views on what happened.
“I would have loved to win in Germany, for sure, but I’m
not too bothered and I’m generally looking forward and not
focusing on what we all could have done differently to
avoid what happened.”
Vettel now turns his attention to Singapore, where he has
triumphed a record four times – and the Prancing Horse
man is hopeful of adding to that tally this weekend.
“The rhythm here is a bit different to normal races in Asia,
as we stay in the European rhythm, but it’s nothing new.
It’s still quite hot and humid so you try to get used to that
before, but nothing out of the ordinary so just try to focus
on the preparation and make sure I come here well rested
and healthy, which is the first priority.
“I like coming here, I like the track, it’s the toughest race
we have all year, mentally and physically, for obvious
reasons. It’s the sort of race you don’t want to start, you’d
rather prepare more, to be more prepared, but you’re happy
it starts because it’s a challenge you look forward to.
“You have the feeling you can never be prepared enough
but then you want to get going, you want to run a race. So
I’m looking forward to it.”
Vettel has also started the Singapore GP on pole a record
four times, and he led here from start-to-finish in 2011,
2013 and 2015, with the 2013 race being a grand slam
victory (led every lap from pole with the fastest lap).

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