Vettel defends team at venue of Ferrari’s last win

This weekend at Singapore Grand Prix marks 12 months since Ferrari's last win. In the meantime, the team has lost its highly-rated technical director in James Allison, has scored fewer podiums and has slipped to third behind Red Bull.

Sebastian Vettel, Singapore Grand Prix, Formula One

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany arrives at the Marina Bay City Circuit ahead of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix in Singapore.   -  AP

Last year, when Sebastian Vettel won from pole at the Singapore GP to score his third win in his first year with Ferrari, many expected it was the start of better things for the Italian marque.

Out of the three wins last year, it was in Singapore that Ferrari won on the basis of having a genuinely quicker car than champions Mercedes.

Ironically, this weekend marks 12 months since Ferrari's last win. In the meantime, the team has lost its highly-rated technical director in James Allison, has scored fewer podiums and has slipped to third behind Red Bull.

Speaking ahead of the race, Sebastian Vettel played down the chances of scoring the first win of the season. “You have to put Mercedes as favourite. They struggled last year but I don't think it is a guarantee it will happen again. If they struggle, everyone will be happy to take advantage.”

“The race is very long and you can be lucky or unlucky with safety cars. This track was very good last year and we have improved from last year so it should be a reasonable track for us. Mercedes are the favourites again.”

Vettel also played down the recent exit of Allison and few other technical staff. “Yes, some people left but there are some new people coming in. We have not had a great season but it has not been as bad as people make it out to be. We were closing the gap last year but unfortunately the gap to the top is still there. Some times more, sometimes less. Are we working on it? A 100 per cent. Are we confident of winning again in the future? 100 per cent.”