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Vettel: 2018 Ferrari 'strong' but never 'dominant'

Written by  Nov 04, 2018

Sebastian Vettel has reiterated his view that while Ferrari may have had the faster car at times in 2018, it was never a dominant position.

Particularly in the stretch of races between Canada to Monza, the Scuderia looked to have ended Mercedes' reign as Formula 1's strongest package mostly thanks to their controversial engine design which gave them a considerable advantage down the straights.

Victories in Montreal and Silverstone highlighted that given those circuits had been among the best of the German manufacturer since 2014, however, Vettel never thinks the gap between the two teams ever put Ferrari comfortably ahead.

"It is absolutely true to say that we have a very strong car but I think people's perception of the fact that we had a dominant car, I don't think it was true," he said in an interview with Autosport.

"If you look at the results I don't see where the dominance is. We had a lot of races that we were very close and we had very good pace in the race but I don't think we had a race where we dominated.

"On the other hand, I think [Mercedes] had. If you look at Spain, look at France, look at Russia - I don't think we had any races like that," he suggested.

It could be argued Hockenheim and Hungary would have been two such races without the weather interfering and then there's the small matter of Spa, where Sebastian blew ahead of Lewis Hamilton on the opening lap and took a commanding victory.

"For me, it wasn't a dominant race, it was a very close fight," he insisted. "Lewis was always one, two, three seconds behind. He had the same pace. We were driving to the same tenth and at some point he gave up."

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The factor many consider as crucial to Hamilton's title was the errors by Vettel and Ferrari at key moments, in many ways echoing the 2017 season which fell apart after Singapore.

"Last year it was apparent that we were very good until midway of the season and then maybe some tracks that didn't suit us, some DNFs that we had," the 31-year-old reflected.

"This year unfortunately in some ways has been similar, that just some races we didn't have the pace compared to Mercedes.

"They were able to win the races," he said. "But we were not able to get enough points ... We lost momentum also because we were not fast enough.

"Within two, three, four races – I don't need to explain to you, you know yourself – there was quite a big gap. So, yeah - that has been a shame."

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