Ferrari progress gives Vettel confidence for 2016 title fight

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Sebastian Vettel is confident that Ferrari can carry its rapid rate of progress in 2015 over to the new season and challenge for its first championship since 2008.

Vettel joined Ferrari from Red Bull at the beginning of the year, and has led the Italian marque to victories in Malaysia, Hungary and Singapore.

Its form marked a dramatic improvement following a miserable 2014 campaign that yielded just two podium finishes and was overshadowed by a number of internal changes at Maranello.

Vettel had been in the running to finish second in the drivers’ championship ahead of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg, but a retirement in Mexico means that the German is now likely to be forced to settle for P3.

Although Vettel was disappointed not to finish the race, he felt that such a reaction acts a proof of how far Ferrari has come and that the team is in a good position for a title bid in 2016.

“Well these things happen,” Vettel told the F1 website after the race in Mexico. “We have gone very far since the start of the season so not everything can work out like you want.

“From the performance that we’ve shown all season long though it is clear that we will be there next year to fight for the titles.”

Ferrari’s last drivers’ championship success came in 2007 with Kimi Raikkonen, and the Italian marque has not won the constructors’ title since 2008.