Sebastian Vettel says he is still committed to his personal “mission” of winning a title with Ferrari, despite another disappointing season with the Italian team.
Vettel has missed out on the championship twice in the last two years despite having a car capable of challenging rivals Mercedes for victories. This season was his best chance of winning a title with Ferrari, but a series of errors in the second half of the year put the championship beyond his reach and allowed Lewis Hamilton to claim the 2018 crown in Mexico two weeks ago.
Vettel joined Ferrari in 2015 — following in the footsteps of his boyhood hero Michael Schumacher — but so far has fallen short of emulating the seven-time world champion’s success.
“I still have a mission here and I still want to win — that hasn’t changed,” he said. “Obviously the last race [when Vettel was ruled out of title contention in Mexico] was a tough one to swallow and probably the winter will be as well, but giving up is not an option.”
Vettel is a four-time world champion and has finished second in the drivers’ championship on three occasions. He said his first experience of coming second, with Red Bull in 2009 to Jenson Button and Brawn GP, was still the most painful.
“I have been three times in a position like that in ’17, ’09 and this year. Probably ’09 was the worst one and the lowest point. You never know what the next year brings and whether you get another chance.
“Obviously I worked very hard for it and I’m confident it will come but you can’t predict. None of those moments were nice.”