Sebastian Vettel believes Ferrari has “all the ingredients” to launch a sustained Formula 1 title challenge in 2019 but feels in previous years the team hasn’t produced the perfect campaign which it requires.

The four-time F1 world champion has finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton for the past two seasons despite being favoured as the favourite, particularly during the opening half of 2018, but is tipped to be a favourite once again after Ferrari’s impressive pre-season testing performances.

Vettel has played down the significance of Ferrari’s pace at testing, pointing to the fact it only matters if it translates into race wins, but feels the Italian manufacturer has all the components it needs to take on Mercedes for another F1 title tilt.

The German driver accepts in previous championship fights “we didn’t put things 100 percent together” but hopes Ferrari can learn from its mistakes and apply gains in 2019.

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“Here we don’t score any points but at the end of the year there are a lot of points to get,” Vettel said. “That’s what is missing. Apart from that, we have all the ingredients for sure.

“At some stages in previous years I think here and there we did our things and maybe we didn’t put things 100 percent together. So, there’s always room for improvement.

“I think we know what it needs but it really matters when we find ourselves in that position again. That’s what we are working towards but right now, obviously this week has been good.”

While Ferrari demonstrated a fast 2019 F1 car at pre-season testing, concerns grew over reliability after Vettel crashed heavily due to a wheel rim failure plus separate exhaust and electrical issues curtailed the teams’ running at the end of the second test at Circuit de Catalunya.

Vettel has downplayed fears and says Ferrari heads into the new F1 season upbeat as it aims to break a decade-long title drought.

“We lost some time so not ideal but overall the feeling is positive,” he said. “The atmosphere is good and the people are happy, so I think we have something to build on.”



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