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.