Leading the championship 'a dream' says Vettel

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
© XPB 

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel says that going into the Formula 1 summer shutdown with a strong lead in the drivers championship standings is what he had been dreaming of achieving at this point of the season.

Lewis Hamilton had closed the gap to Vettel to a single point after the British Grand Prix. But a Ferrari one-two in Hungary means that Vettel has now stretched that back out to 14 points head of the holidays.

"It's what I dream about, to be honest," said Vettel said of pulling out that crucial advantage before the summer break.

"I don't have very precise dreams in terms of gaps, points and stuff like that," he added. "I want to win, so that's where you want to be."

Vettel's time at Ferrari since switching from Red Bull at the end of 2014 hadn't always been such a dream. Although he claimed three victories in his first year at Maranello, he went winless in a frustrating 2016.

However Vettel now looks back positively at the journey that's taken him to success in the current season.

"I'm only two-and-a-half years in with the team," he pointed out. "I think we had a great year in 2015, which helped to get the project going.

"2016 was difficult, I think, for many reasons. But I think it was a great year to set things up, a lot of change for the team.

"Over the winter I think we were the team that made the least noise," he continued. "There was a lot of talk about the new cars and the new regulations. How it will favour one team over the other, how it will bring back other teams and so on.

"I was very happy that we just worked," he said. "We just kept to ourselves and did the job."

"I think all in all, the mission has been to get back to the top, so obviously we had a great year

Now the focus for Vettel and for Ferrari as a whole will be to sustain the current level of performance after the summer break.

With nine races remaining in the season there is still plenty of time for Hamilton to catch up. Vettel however believes that he and his team will have what it takes to stay ahead.

"We have a great car," he insisted. "We know, I think, by now with a lot of races done, what the strength of the car is, where the weaknesses are. That’s where we need to work on.

"We have a lot of great people. Young people coming up and a great culture, people taking risks and that’s what we need to do.

"Very happy where we are going but it’s not yet enough," he added. "You cannot expect it to change overnight, but yeah - I’m very confident!"

Gallery: The beautiful wives and girlfriends of F1

Keep up to date with all the F1 news via Facebook and Twitter