F1: Sebastian Vettel ‘dreams’ of title win with Ferrari and has no plans to retire
Hamilton is up for a fight and Ricciardo no longer felt he was Red Bull’s No.1
Sebastian Vettel is motivated more than ever to win his first Formula 1 championship as a Ferrari driver.
The German has four previous title wins with Red Bull but since moving to the Scuderia in 2015 he has had to watch on as Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton dominated.
Ferrari have not won the drivers’ championship since 2007 and are also without a constructors’ title since 2008.
Despite finishing runner-up behind Hamilton for the past two seasons, 31-year-old Vettel is not ready to “throw in the towel” just yet, Planet F1 reports.
“Not really or no, the answer is no!” Vettel told German newspaper Sport Bild. “Because throwing in the towel would mean dropping everything and giving it up.
“No, because my goal, my dream is to become a Ferrari world champion. It also motivates me that Ferrari is the biggest brand in Formula 1. For me it would therefore be the ultimate if I could win the world title with Ferrari.”
When asked if he had any plans to retire Vettel added: “I think it’s clear that I’m not in the spring of my career anymore. On the other hand, at 31 I still have plenty of time in this sport.
“Looking back, Michael [Schumacher] was even a bit older than me when he won his first title with Ferrari. And Lewis [Hamilton] is two years older than me.
“I still have no thoughts of retiring. On the contrary, I’m doing everything to fulfil my dream of the title with Ferrari.”
Hamilton is ready for a battle
Ferrari may have set the pace in pre-season testing in Barcelona but reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team will not give up their titles without a fight.
While acknowledging the pace of Ferrari’s SF90 car the British driver told Sky Sports: “That’s OK. We don’t mind a challenge, we like a fight - it just means we’ve got to work harder.
“We’ve got a hill to climb but we know how to do it. As a driver, for sure, I have to think how I can pull more out.”
According to the early betting prices on Oddschecker Ferrari ace Sebastian Vettel is the 15/8 favourite to win the first F1 grand prix of the season in Australia on 17 March. Hamilton is second favourite at 2/1 and Vettel’s Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc is third favourite at 5/2.
Ricciardo: Red Bull want Verstappen to win the title
Daniel Ricciardo has responded to the claims that he left Red Bull Racing because he was “running from a fight” with former team-mate Max Verstappen.
Wheels24 reports that the Australian, 29, left for Renault because he no longer felt like he was Red Bull’s No.1 driver and that they want 21-year-old Verstappen to win the F1 title.
In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ricciardo said: “I have nothing against Max. We always got along well. I never thought that I couldn’t work with him or that the team would give him a better car.
“But I think that in the event of a fight for the title, the team would be on Max’s side. They want to make him the youngest world champion in history.”