Singapore Grand Prix: Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel is confident of his form improving
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Sebastian Vettel has admitted he is not happy with his driving but is confident he can turn his form around before the end of the season.
The four-time world champion made the latest in a string of high-profile errors at the last race in Italy, when he spun and then collided with another car while rejoining.
Vettel said: "I take it as what it is and it is obviously not great but also not a disaster. It's not the level I want to perform at but these things can happen to all of us now and again."
The German has been making major driving errors at a rate of about one in every three races since the French Grand Prix in June 2018.
And this year the pressure has increased on the 32-year-old as a result of the arrival of Charles Leclerc as his team-mate at Ferrari.
The 21-year-old from Monaco has won the last two races, while Vettel's last win was in Belgium in August 2018.
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Vettel denied that his issues, which are a major talking point within in F1, were psychological.
"I don't think it's mental," he said. "It's not that I am in the wrong place [in my mind]. I am doing the right things, which is why I think it's crucial not to over-complicate things too much, and pull through it.
"Here and there I might not have the absolute trust in the car or the best feeling yet. But it's improving my understanding of the car and then it's a question of details, lining them up.
"Hopefully sooner rather than later it will click and things will start to fall into place. Until then we need to keep our head down. There are always things I can do better and learn. We see how the next few races go."
Leclerc has out-qualified Vettel for the last seven races in a row, although some of them have involved extenuating circumstances. And on average qualifying pace, Leclerc is 0.132 seconds quicker than Vettel over the 14 races so far this season.
Vettel said: "First you need to be fair and say he is very quick. [There were] some sessions where I didn't take part - Austria and Germany. Monza only half. I don't think there is anything in particular standing out. If he out-qualifies me he has done a better job but then you have to look at the reasons why."
Ferrari are expecting a more difficult weekend in Singapore, where the tight and twisty nature of the Marina Bay street circuit does not suit their car, and they expect to struggle to compete with Mercedes and Red Bull.
Leclerc said: "It might be a bit more difficult for us this weekend. Quite a lot of corners, a lot less straights. We are going to struggle a bit more but anything is possible everywhere and we see how it goes."
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton enters the weekend aiming to take another step towards his sixth world title.
The Briton, whose last win was in Hungary at the beginning of August, is 65 points ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas in the championship.