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Ferrari fans suffering as much as the team

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Sebastian Vettel suspects Ferrari’s fans are suffering as much as the team following its recent slump in form, but says he would not expect to be booed at this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix if the race at Monza were open to the public.

Ferrari failed to score a point at the Belgian Grand Prix after finishing 13th and 14th — it’s worse two-car finish since the 2010 British Grand Prix when Felipe Massa lost time with a puncture and finished 15th and Fernando Alonso served a penalty but still finished 14th.

So far this season, F1 races have been held behind closed doors due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus, but in a normal season Ferrari would turn up at the next race at Monza in front of a 100,000-strong home crowd.

When it was put to Vettel that the lack of spectators at the Italian Grand Prix might be a good thing as it meant the team would not get booed by the traditionally passionate crowd, Vettel denied that would be the case.

“I don’t think we would get booed,” he said. “The fans are suffering probably as much as the whole team. So if I had a choice I would still bring the fans back but obviously at the moment it is not a choice for us and not possible. Nevertheless, they will be important races for us to come up.

“It is true it will be difficult in Monza as well. But still I have always some optimism and hope that some of the problems that seem to slow us this weekend can be understood and we can tackle them next week and be in a better place. Better place doesn’t mean we can win the race but hopefully we can be stronger than this weekend.”

Vettel will leave Ferrari at the end of the season, but says he still feels motivated to secure good results because he feels he owes it to the team members he is working with.

“What motivates me is very simple, it’s the people around me,” he said. “When you walk into the garage I am not the only one trying to make the most of the situation. I have a large group of people just around me, around my car, also Charles’ car crew, all the mechanics, the engineers, that’s just the people on the track.

“There’s people connected at Maranello, and the whole team there, it’s a big effort, and everyone’s putting a lot of effort in to make the most out of what we have today. It’s not the most exciting to fight for P13, P10 or P8 but we are trying to make it rather P10 P8 or P5 P3, and hopefully before the season ends, so that’s all our ambition, and including my ambition.

“I feel myself part of this team, not just by contract, but also spirit. A lot of people put effort in the last years to help me so I think it’s only a sign of respect to try and do the same in return. So that’s where the motivation comes from. I’m not going to lie, surely it would be more fun for me fighting at the front and not where we are today.”



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