Vettel: Ferrari chief’s criticisms of F1 driver errors ‘fair enough’

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Sebastian Vettel believes that Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne’s comments about driver errors playing a role in costing the Italian marque in the Formula 1 championship races are “fair enough”, having seen his title hopes end two weeks ago in Mexico.

Vettel led the F1 drivers’ championship from the opening race until the Italian Grand Prix in September, with a collapse over the trio of Asian races that followed to deal a heavy blow to his hopes of a fifth world title.

Lewis Hamilton was confirmed as 2017 world champion at the last race in Mexico, wrapping up what was tipped to be a close-fought championship with two races to spare, much to Marchionne’s disappointment.

The Ferrari chairman blamed its defeat in both the drivers’ and constructors’ championships on a mix of reliability issues and driver errors, appearing to hint at Vettel’s on-track clashes in Baku and Singapore.

When asked about Marchionne’s comments, Vettel told the official F1 website: “I think what he said is fair enough.

“Of course you would do things differently – otherwise you wouldn’t learn from mistakes.

“I think we all agree that we didn’t have the season that we could have had – or should have had – for obvious reasons.”

Despite his title defeat being confirmed, Vettel is relishing the chance to strike back and end his winless drought dating back to the Hungarian Grand Prix in July.

“The moment you get into the car the musing about the ifs and buts of the past 18 races stops abruptly and you focus again only on the driving,” Vettel said.

“That is why I am really looking forward to these last two races.

“Maybe losing out is a bit easier to come to terms with when there are still two races to go than losing at the very last race, and having to go home with a defeat.”