Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel is confident that the Italian marque can end their momentary losing streak in Monaco.
Despite losing out to rival F1 team Mercedes during the last Grand Prix in Barcelona – a race that had looked to be going in their direction until a brilliant overtake by Lewis Hamilton demoted Vettel to second place – both Ferrari and their star driver Sebastian Vettel are looking towards the Grand Prix in Monte Carlo with upbeat expectations.
Vettel, who still holds the lead in the 2017 Formula One Championship at 104 points over second-place-sitter Lewis Hamilton at 98 points, has every right to be as upbeat as he is – though he should take care not to let his expectations get the better of him. There’s no doubt that Vettel fits right into the fiery Italian team and has gradually built the team around him since joining. The German has gained both recognition and infamy regarding his conduct both on and off the track: showcasing the highest of emotional highs and the lowest of the lows. Vettel does appear to be working to keep himself in check ahead of this weekend’s race, but the wry 29 year-old is piping up about the team’s chances to win at Monte Carlo, a feat that evaded Ferrari for sixteen years:
“I think we have a very strong package and a very strong team, so we don’t have anything to be afraid of.
If you look at the last couple of years, it is true that Mercedes were very strong around here so they will be the ones naturally to beat, but I am confident that we can have a good weekend.
I am confident we have the tools, so it is up to us to have the right set-up to get into the groove and have the confidence.” – Sebastian Vettel
Although Vettel is narrowly leading the championship ahead of Mercedes’ Hamilton, Ferrari is currently second in the Constructor’s Standings. The team could very well find itself relying more and more on the performance of their second driver, Kimi Raikkonen. Raikkonen’s performance thus far has been inconsistent, though it’s difficult to attribute the lack of podium placements solely to the Finn. After several bouts of car trouble and then being taken out of the race on the first turn of lap 1 at Barcelona, things are looking more like Raikkonen just needs to catch a break.
Monte Carlo is Formula One’s “Crown Jewel” with good reason, and after the significant upgrades that ran their course at Barcelona, teams and drivers will be doing their utmost to eke out as much of a lead over their competitors as possible. As tempting as it is to call the outcome ahead of time, 2017 has proven to be an incredibly volatile season thus far, and the result of the upcoming race weekend is proving more and more difficult to scry.