Sebastian Vettel says his recovery from last to second place felt like a “small victory” for Ferrari after the team’s run of disappointment in the 2019 Formula 1 season.

Ferrari arrived at Hockenheim without a win from the opening 10 races of the campaign but looked well placed to end its drought after demonstrating rapid pace throughout practice, only for two separate reliability failures in qualifying to end the Scuderia’s hopes of landing a potential front-row lockout.

Vettel started plum last in Germany but turned in a superb drive in changeable conditions to score a remarkable podium finish behind race-winner Max Verstappen in a crash-strewn and action-packed race.

“I think with the race we had from starting last, I think we can certainly be very happy recovering,” Vettel said.

“It was a very tough race, easy to lose focus and momentum but we kept it throughout so I’m very happy.

“After the disappointment yesterday where everything was ready, the car was ready, I was ready, the team was ready, we didn’t have qualifying.

“Starting last today, I think I was very excited about the race in these conditions. The race turned out a lot crazier than I thought beforehand, but yeah, very happy obviously for the team, first of all.”

Vettel stressed the team morale within Ferrari remains as strong as ever he remains confident Ferrari can turn things around.

“I think it’s a tough period for us,” he said. "We’re pushing very hard, we are doing mistakes, we are not where we want to be. But I think we need to keep believing in ourselves and our abilities and our strengths, and I’m confident our days will come.

“Obviously today very happy for myself, home race, it was great to see the crowd especially in the end, every time I passed a car they were like really excited. I really did enjoy that.

“Crazy race, a lot of decisions to make, a lot of communications between the car and the pit wall. But I think we stayed calm and tried to do the best at the time, most of the time we were right, some of the time we were wrong, but we kept it clean and that was the key.

“I think in this period it’s very important that we keep the morale and the support in the team,” Vettel added.

“From the inside that is happening, from the outside I hope that is happening as well.

“I know the Tifosi are behind us but sometimes the headline can shift either way so it’s important that we keep the support because I think things are moving, we are working very hard, and when it comes to passion we put a lot of effort and a lot of hours in, people are very determined and impatient as everyone else to get the results finally. But it will take a little while.

“We know what we have to improve and that’s what we are working on, but in the meantime I hope that people are a bit patient and give us patience and time. So in that regard it feels like a small victory.”



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