Sebastian Vettel says he’s his own biggest critic following a difficult 12 months as he returns to the scene where his 2018 Formula 1 world title fight began to fall apart when he crashed out while leading his home race.

The Ferrari driver comes into the German Grand Prix fresh from a painful crash with Max Verstappen at Silverstone, a clash he held up his hands for after ramming the rear of the Red Bull driver while fighting for position at the British round, which has seen his F1 world title hopes continue to fade after falling 100 points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

Vettel, who led the F1 drivers’ standings coming into the German round this time last year, has shot down the idea he’s starting to struggle under the weight of expectation to deliver world titles at Ferrari and feels his biggest critic remains himself.

“I always put myself under pressure so I can’t be happy if things go wrong. I think the main thing is that we keep progressing in the right way so for sure if I get something wrong and do a mistake I can’t be happy with that,” Vettel said. “The pressure I put on myself after that is bigger than any external factors.

“This has been the same for as long as I can remember. I think the best and honest and straightforward way to deal with it myself as I know what I’ve done wrong and what I have done right, I know when I had the opportunity to do well, I think you are always your best judge no matter what you do.

“It doesn’t feel like a burden it feels like a privilege to go out and race for Ferrari. Obviously my mission and my goal and the team’s goal is to get back to winning ways. If we do that then we have a much better chance to fight for the championship.”

While Vettel feels Ferrari’s progress remains positive since he joined the team back in 2015 he accepts the team is “still missing that final step” of a complete package to consistently fight for the world title against the Mercedes domination.

“I think things are progressing in the right direction in the bigger picture but the big picture doesn’t interest you if you are not where you would like to be,” he said.

“We all know Formula 1 is a world where people are short-sighted which is also fair and part of the game but overall if things look good we are still missing that final step which is the most important step.”

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