Sebastian Vettel admits he has failed in his mission to emulate childhood hero Michael Schumacher’s success at Ferrari, but insists he has no regrets about joining Formula 1’s most successful team.

After securing four successive world titles at Red Bull between 2010 and 2013, Vettel elected to join Ferrari in the hope of mirroring the achievements of seven-time world champion Schumacher, but the German has been unable to secure any further titles despite taking 14 victories since 2015.

And it appears unlikely that Vettel will be able to add more wins to that tally before he leaves Ferrari at the end of the season, given how uncompetitive this year’s SF1000 is.

Speaking exclusively to Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Vettel revealed he wished he handled his departure from Red Bull differently at the end of 2014 but stressed that he does not regret his decision to leave for Ferrari.

Asked if he regrets the switch from Milton Keynes to Maranello, Vettel replied: “No I don't - and that's the truth.

“Ferrari has always been a dream of mine, massively inspired by my childhood, by Michael in the red car… I was inspired by him, and still am inspired by him because I think he is the best there ever was.

“I was hoping to take some championships away from Lewis [Hamilton] so that Michael’s record stands a bit longer; now we are a bit out of striking distance to try and block him.

“But I think I wanted this to work for myself more than for Michael. I think looking back, my mission, my target was to win a championship and we didn’t do that.

“So in that regard we failed. But still, we had some really good years, some highlights and some good races. So I don’t regret it.”

The two parties will split at the end of the 2020 season after Ferrari told Vettel he would not be offered a contract renewal for 2021, with the Italian outfit instead signing McLaren’s Carlos Sainz as his replacement.

Vettel’s future in F1 has been left uncertain as a result, though speculation linking him to Racing Point when it morphs into Aston Martin for next season has intensified in recent weeks.

Speaking about Racing Point - which has enjoyed a strong start to 2020 with its controversial ‘pink Mercedes’ - Vettel said: “At the moment you look and it looks probably. But you know, I’ve been around for such a long time that you try to obviously look beyond that in terms of seeing what might firm up and what might not firm up along the grid.

“I am really here to achieve something and I will see in the next [period of] time whether that’s on the cards or it’s not. I think that will drive my decision.

“Given the right circumstances, I feel like – that’s the confidence I have – [I can] be as good as anyone else. But things need to be right.”

 

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