Sebastian Vettel has dismissed the prospect of looking over 2016 positively as Ferrari is set to endure a winless season and failing on its target of being an F1 world title contender.
Both Vettel and Ferrari have struggled to build upon 2015 when the German was the only non-Mercedes driver to reach the top step of the podium, going on to win three races, while also scoring 10 further rostrums.
With only the season finale in Abu Dhabi remaining, Vettel has just six podiums to his name this year and zero wins while both he and Ferrari have slipped behind Red Bull in the F1 pecking order.
Despite feeling the SF16-H car has been a step forward the four-time F1 world champion receives little comfort having missed its main targets for 2016.
“We can't be proud of this year because we came through the season wanting to fight for the championship,” Vettel said. “It is the target for next year, that is very clear. It is an enormous challenge for all of the teams including ourselves to get the cars ready for next year with so many changes but that is what we are here for.
“Overall I think the car is a very good step from last year and I think our performance was probably better than the results we have shown at times but the circumstances haven't always been the best.”
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Reflecting on the season as whole, Vettel holds great pride in returning to the podium at Ferrari's home race in Monza but also feels there have been hurtful lows this season – pinpoint his tyre blowout in Austria and his engine failure on the warm-up lap in Bahrain.
“The top moment for me was certainly the podium in Monza, by far it is always something very special,” he said. “It was a difficult season for us where we got a lot of criticisms, sometimes right and sometimes wrong, but to see that the Tifosi coming to support us and believing us was a great boost and something we'll remember many, many times that we are not alone.
“The majority of the nation of Italy behind us is something I would describe as our superpower and we want to use it more in the future.”
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