Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel says he is “full of optimism” as he chases victory in Singapore this weekend at a circuit where he has traditionally excelled.
Vettel won for Red Bull in 2011, 2012 and 2013, while last year he dominated from pole position, having also finished runner-up around the streets of Marina Bay in 2010 and 2014.
Whereas team-mate Kimi Räikkönen believes Ferrari’s 2015 form is no guarantee of success, Vettel reckons last year’s pace is encouraging for this weekend’s event.
“This track has been good for us last year, in general we improved the car, then it should be a good track for us again,” he said.
“For tyres and strategy in general it depends on what happens in the race, for qualifying it’s clear, you try to go as fast as you can.
“I like the track and I’m full of optimism, I know that we have to do our homework to get prepared and then we’ll see where we are.”
Vettel’s triumph in Singapore 12 months ago remains his and Ferrari’s most recent Formula 1 victory, with the team having slipped to third in the Constructors’ championship.
Vettel accepted that Ferrari has endured a difficult campaign but insisted that the squad has not had an “awful” season.
“When we started off last year it was clear where we want to go, we want to bring Ferrari to the top,” he explained.
“It’s true that we haven’t had a great season so far, but it’s also true that we did not have an awful season either.
“We are criticising ourselves first because we haven’t achieved what we had set out to achieve.
“We were closing the gap last year and unfortunately the gap to the top is still there, sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller, but it’s a matter of fact that it’s still there.”