Sebastian Vettel “Shocked” When Asked Whether He is Still a Championship Quality Driver

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Sebastian Vettel had an exceptional race at Istanbul Park. The 4-times world champion got off to a blistering start, having been P11 on the grid, and went on to capitalize on a mistake from teammate Charles Leclerc to bag his first podium finish of the season.

The German has had a horrid year with the Scuderia and he would be much relieved with this showing. Prior to the race in Turkey, he only had a total of 18 points from 13 races. His form was a far cry from his days of domination at Red Bull.

Nevertheless, with such a performance, Vettel showed that he didn’t just become a bad driver overnight and that his performances were down to him not having the right car or the right set up mixed with a healthy dose of rotten luck.

As such, during the post race press conference, Vettel was puzzled to have been asked whether he still was a championship quality driver.

Vettel replied, “Well, I’m a bit shocked the way you phrased your question there. F1 is a very fast living world. We drive the fastest cars to you always get judged by your last race.

“I’ve said that we had a difficult season, there’s been moments where certainly I haven’t been at the top of my game. But I don’t doubt that I can do a good job in the car and don’t feel that anything has changed, so bit surprised. But thank you.”

Sebastian Vettel reflects on the tough year he has had

As things stand, Vettel only has 33 points to his name after 14 races. He currently occupies 13th place on the Drivers’ championship table and for the first time since 2009, he looks set to end the season with less than a hundred points.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel during a press conference at Imola
Formula One F1 – Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari. Imola, Italy – Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel during a press conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

Reflecting on his incredibly challenging final year with the Scuderia, Vettel said, “Well it has been a difficult year. I think qualifying has been the Achilles heel this year. And the races obviously have been largely defined by being stuck in the pack.

“I think it’s been a while that I’ve been racing in the midfield, it’s very, very close and even though you have a better pace, sometimes you can’t really show so it’s tough. But I think we look forward to the last couple of races and hopefully for improvements.”

The 33-year-old would certainly want to end the season on a high. His P3 in Turkey could be just the boost he needed for his morale and self-confidence.

Vettel would dearly love another podium to close his chapter with Ferrari before he moves to Aston Martin for 2021.

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