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Vettel: Good to see other teams copying Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel is a strong believer in imitation being the sincerest form of flattery after seeing a number of Ferrari design elements pop up on rival cars this year.

After going 20 races without a victory in 2016, Ferrari turned its fortunes around over the winter and under 2017's new technical regulations delivered a car capable of winning four of the opening 11 races this season. Vettel went into F1's summer break with a 14-point lead over title rival Lewis Hamilton after claiming victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix last month and says Ferrari should be proud of what it has achieved so far this year.

Ferrari. Mark Thompson/Getty Images
"It's been rewarding for the team," Vettel said of the first half of the season. "It's a fact to say in the last couple of years we didn't have the best car and a fact to say in the last few years we weren't the strongest at developing the car, but I think if you look at the progression this year it is a different story and we keep progressing.

"We brought a lot of bits, we have seen a lot of bits from other people copying us, but that's a good sign and a testimony to the hard and good work and the achievement that has gone into this car and this project. We will keep pushing flat out."

Despite Vettel's lead in the championship, the four races before Hungary saw momentum shift back towards Mercedes. While the Ferrari remains the faster car on tight twisty tracks like the Hungaroring, it is undoubtedly down on performance at high-speed circuits and could struggle when the F1 season gets back underway at the Belgian Grand Prix at the end of this month.

Vettel says Maranello's design team knows where its car's weaknesses are and he is hoping it will be able to address them in the second half of the season.

"I think we know what the car needs. It's normal that from track to track there's a bit of a difference. Also for drivers, some tracks we like more than others and it's the same for the car. You have to look not only at yourself but also the other people and the rest of the field, it's normal that it's up and down.

"But that's not our target, it's not an excuse, we want to be quickest at every place we go which is currently not the case, but we're working on it. We have quite a good understanding of what the car needs and now we have some time to look into a couple of things with peace and calm but obviously it's not that easy to turn things around overnight but what's important is that we know what we need."

Author: Laurence Edmondson
Source: http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/20357085/vettel-good-see-other-teams-copying-ferrari

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