Sebastian Vettel has defended Ferrari’s recent technical developments, saying the team hasn’t “lost direction” with Lewis Hamilton’s recent hattrick of wins. 

The Ferrari driver faced questions about the team’s performances during Thursday’s press conference for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix. 

“I’m pretty sure speaking to all our engineers that we are where we would like to be or where we wanted to be,” Vettel said. 

He said any suggestion the team has lost direction is not true as Ferrari has continued to make progress with their car. 

Lewis Hamilton (pictured) has won the last three Formula 1 races, allowing him to extend a 50 point gap in the World Drivers Championship (Image courtesy of Daimler AG). 

Ferrari brought upgrades to the Italian, Singapore, and Russian Grands Prix, races all won by Mercedes.  

During that time, Ferrari introduced a new rear wing concept, minor tweaks to the barge boards, and a front wing described as “radical” by technical expert Giorgio Piola. 

“Of course you would like to be always further with more performance, but that’s the same for everyone,” Vettel said. 

Don’t forget about Mercedes

They also introduced upgrades in the last three rounds. These included a newly designed rear brake drum, changes to the supports holding the rear wing, and the addition of another pipe at the rear of the car to ultimately create better power unit efficiency.

Sebastian Vettel (left) battles with Lewis Hamilton in the Russian Grand Prix, a race Hamilton would go on to win (Image courtesy of Daimler AG). 

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff said his team’s fight with Ferrari “is far from being over.”

“We can take nothing for granted and we will stay at maximum attack on every front in the next races,” he said.

Lewis Hamilton’s recent victory streak has left Vettel 50 points adrift in the race for the World Championship. 

With regard to who was winning the so-called ‘development war’, Vettel wasn’t sure if Ferrari had the honour. 

“I don’t think … that we had a dominant car at any point this year,” he said.

He described the SF71-H as just a “strong” car.

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