Sebastian Vettel can go into his first full season for Formula 1 racing with plenty of confidence, despite his brief stint this year coming to a disappointing end in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The German, who scored a magnificent fourth place in China, was again showing strong race pace in the Scuderia Toro Rosso, but while he ran as high as ninth the middle stages of the race, a hydraulic failure eventually ended his hopes.

Nonetheless, Vettel was again proving the Toro Rosso can be a competitive package and with a winter period of testing beckoning, the youngster is confident he can use a strong end to the season to hit the ground running in 2008

"I had to retire with a hydraulic problem on the car. First I lost the gear shift and then the power steering. Up to that point I think I was very competitive and the last few races have shown we are getting better, also in the dry here. So that is positive, even if retiring from the final race is disappointing. I loved the fantastic atmosphere here with this incredible crowd."

Most importantly for the team though, that single race haul of eight points from Vettel and team-mate Vitantonio Liuzzi means Toro Rosso will end the season seventh - far higher than expected just a couple of races ago.

"The second half of this season, especially Fuji and Shanghai showed an improvement in performance," said team boss Franz Tost. "We have finished seventh in the Constructors' and this is what counts. From tomorrow, we start preparing for the 2008 season."

 

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