Sebastian Vettel admitted that he felt like he let down Ferrari team by his angry outburst at F1 rival Lewis Hamilton in Baku.
At the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Vettel believed Hamilton brake tested him intentionally behind the safety car. He pulled his car aside Hamilton and vented his frustration, creating a big controversy.
The act earned Vettel a 10 second stop and go penalty. FIA investigated his actions and luckily he escaped any further penalties.
Recalling the incident in an interview, Vettel confessed he felt a lot worse about the Baku confrontation than his recent Singapore collision, although Singapore accident costs a lot more in terms of points.
“I think Baku was worse,” said Vettel. “I felt I let the team down because something that I did obviously cost a race win potentially.
“So I think in Singapore, to be honest, the way I look at it, its racing, and it happens. Obviously, it is extremely unfortunate, but I don’t know how many starts crashes there have been in the past and there will be in the future.
“If you happen to be inside them, it always sucks. There is no better way to describe. Did it come in a good time? No. Is there any ever a good time for this to happen? Probably not.
“So it doesn’t matter. It happened. We cannot control it. We need to focus on what we have in our hands and try to focus on things we can control.”
Compared to 2016, Ferrari has risen up to Mercedes challenge this year. The evolution from a distant third to a strong second place is not because of any major change at Ferrari, Vettel insists.
He attributes the progress to the approach the Italian team has taken this season after facing a very testing season last year.
So what exactly is different in Ferrari this year, Vettel said: “Not so much. The people, they are more or less the same.
“2016 was a tough year, but a very important year, because a lot of things we shifted internally to the better. So it should make us stronger.
“Obviously this year gave us the chance with new rules and so on, to come up with a new car, and we used our chance, but you can see we are not entirely happy because we want to win altogether.
“Other than that, I still think that there is a lot to do. I don’t mean that there is still a lot of changes necessary in terms of we need to change the people because that is what people normally think: when you talk about changes – ‘ah, you need to change the people’. No.
“Sometimes you need maybe to make some small adjustments with the same people, and it works much better.
“So I think the potential is there in Ferrari, the people are there, talent is there. And it’s about us, all of us. trying to work together and make it happen.”