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Sebastian Vettel

Vettel reveals 'toll' of Ferrari years: It took a while to recover

Sebastian Vettel spent six seasons of his F1 career with the Ferrari team, but ultimately failed to win a World Championship there. The German has been reflecting on the different emotions he experienced in his time with the Scuderia.

Sebastian Vettel has been reflecting on the emotional "toll" that his years with Ferrari took on him.

The four-time World Champion joined the Scuderia for the 2015 season and won in just his second race with the squad, before finishing the campaign P3 in the World Championship.

Vettel went on to pose title challenges in the years that followed but ultimately fell short. He was replaced at the team by Carlos Sainz for 2021, with his exit being announced before the COVID-delayed 2020 F1 season had even got underway.

Despite some ups and downs during his time at Ferrari, Vettel has happy memories from much of it.

"I had a lot of fun," he told the Beyond The Grid podcast.

"I think I have a very strong emotional connection to Italy and the people of Italy and to Ferrari as a brand, so it was a privilege to race for Ferrari.

"We had great moments together, so lots of memories that I will keep forever and lots of friends that I made."

Vettel 'failed' to achieve goal at Ferrari

Vettel admits that he failed to achieve what he had set out to with the Italian squad, but does not carry any regrets over this.

"In terms of the numbers and statistics, I failed, because my target was to win the World Championship and I didn't," he explained.

"Ultimately, Lewis [Hamilton] and Mercedes as a package were too strong for us and we didn't beat them. But the more time passes, the more I'm [at] peace with it, if that makes sense.

"Just because, living through the moment, I know that we've done great things. I know that we've done things also that weren't great.

"And, in the end, like I said, there was somebody else out there that was just better at that time and deserved to win, so we came second a couple of times.

"But [I have] no regrets and [there were] lots of things that I learned. I wouldn't go back and change anything."

Ferrari years were a 'toll', says Vettel

Despite taking this attitude, Vettel acknowledges that his time at Ferrari did pose some emotional challenges, mainly borne out of his own expectations of himself.

"It was a toll as well," the 35-year-old said.

"I never felt that sort of extra pressure [of] being a Ferrari driver. If anything, I felt the extra pressure that I had on an expectation to myself, that I want to succeed in this place and I want to make this thing work.

"There's plenty of reasons why I didn't or [reasons why it] might not have worked. But, in the end, I think I'm still very happy and at peace with what we have achieved.

"But sure, looking back, it did take a while to sort of recover."

When quizzed on whether things could have been different had he lessened the pressure on himself, Vettel answered: "I don't know. Maybe.

"What I did at the time was always trying to do the best I could. I think the experience taught me a lot and even if – maybe the approach [I took] there was wrong and it was too much, or maybe I tried too hard at times – it still taught me something.

"I probably would have had to learn that lesson at another point, so no changes."

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