After a motivational start to the preseason tests, Vettel and Ferrari were surpassed by Mercedes in the Australian GP, and their main rival collected five consecutive doubles and won the first eight races of the year.
Ferrari no he could win one before the summer holidays, until Charles Leclerc and Vettel achieved three in a row, as the group's performance improved dramatically and controversially, but Mercedes regained his fitness.  Vettel said that Ferrari was "quite calm" after an "incredible" first week of testing, but then a "surprising" beginning of the season brought them back to the reality that "we simply weren't what fast enough. "
" At that time you do not give up, but you realize that you are not in the position you want to be, "Vettel told Motorsport.com.
"And first you fight against Even yourself, because you are too far away to fight against others, or fight Mercedes, which became stronger weekend after weekend. We first tried to find our results and when we found it realized we were behind us. "
" Then with the European races and the fact that we couldn't change overnight it was pretty clear that it would be very difficult. "
Vettel said Ferrari was soon "very realistic" that his hopes of ending a drought in the championship going back to 2008 were really complicated.
But in such circumstances he said "you are trying to put it off, because you want to prove the opposite."
"But then you fail again, you fail again, you fail again when you try to prove the opposite and … it's like seeing reality, but trying not to see it."
"It's not a nice feeling. But in the end you have to do it. I think the fact that you reject it for three, four, five races before you have to say "OK, that's it", it helps you too. Still, you try to keep going, and at a glance you realize. It's a little less difficult, but fuck the same thing. "
Vettel has had problems compared to his new teammate, Leclerc, for most of the season, and handed the first pole of the year to the young promise.
The four-time world champion has improved since the great aerodynamic update of the Ferrari in Singapore GP and acknowledged that he suffered to feel "above all" after the strong start of the precision.
"We lost that feeling and suffered to recover it for a long time," Vettel said. "It was pretty clear what was missing, but it was not very clear how to fix it."
"Then when it became clear [cómo] Fix it, it took time to fix it, because you can't just press the & # 39; print & # 39; button. It's about trust, predicting where we're going go and know what's going to happen. You can predict, you can predict and then extract more of yourself and ultimately from the car. "
The 10 drivers with the most wins in Formula 1
(Click" Full version "below if you can't see the pictures
1st Michael Schumacher (91 wins)
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Photo by : Charles Coates / Motorsport Images
2nd Lewis Hamilton (83 wins)
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Photo by: Manuel Goria / Motorsport Images
3rd Sebastian Vettel (53 wins)
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Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images
3rd Alain Prost (51 wins)
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Photo by: Sutton Motorsport Images
5: e Ayrton Senna (41 wins)
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Photo by: Sutton Motorsport Images
6th Fernando Alonso ( 32 wins)
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Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
7th Nigel Mansell (31 winners)
7 / 10  Photo by: Sutton Motorsport Images
8th Jackie Stewart (27 wins)
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Photo by: Sutton Motorsport Images  9th Jim Clark (25 wins)
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Photo by: Ford Motor Company and Wieck Medi a Services, Inc.
9th Niki Lauda (25 wins)
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Photo by: Jean-Philippe Legrand