Vettel expects stronger finish to the season for Ferrari

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Sebastian Vettel has admitted that Ferrari have been struggling for performance in the last few races before the summer shutdown, but the four-time world champion is still confident that the setbacks will only help Ferrari get stronger in the final nine races of 2016.

"I think the last couple of races have been harsh and tough for us, but very very useful," he insisted.

"I think we understood a lot about our car strength and weaknesses about our car, so we know what to focus on, so yeah - it wasn’t entirely clear after the first couple of races but it became more and more evident

"Obviously it’s a harsh way to find out, not being competitive and not as competitive as we want to.

"I think we know what to do, obviously it’s not going to change overnight but there’s a plan and I think the second half we should be stronger in that regard.

"I’m sure the second half things will be better for us again and we’ll be more competitive," he added. "It also depends on what other people do but for that we focus on ourselves."

However, Vettel did concede that Ferrari is now increasingly having to focus on the 2017-specification car, leaving little opportunity to develop upgrades for this year's SF16.

"There’s some stuff coming which has always been the plan but also like everyone else we are preparing big time for 2017.

"Obviously it’s a different project, the cars will be very different but there’s still some things that we can learn and understand this year, like I just mentioned the lessons we found the last couple of races which will help us next year."

And for all the planning for next season, Vettel insisted that he wasn't prepared to give up on 2016.

"We are here to race and we’re here to fight so we try to maximise every race and get the maximum points and that also includes the fact that we want to finish the championship ahead of Red Bull."

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