Sebastian Vettel on what's keeping him in F1

Sebastian Vettel has been a way off his usual top form since the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim last year. Sebastian Gollnow/picture alliance via Getty Images

HOCKENHEIM, Germany -- Sebastian Vettel will remain in Formula One as long as he is still enjoying driving and is motivated by the challenge of returning Ferrari to the top of the sport.

Following a series of mistakes that stretch back to last year's German Grand Prix 12 months ago, doubts have been cast over Vettel's future in the sport. At Hockenheim last year, Vettel spun out of a comfortable lead and since that race has only won one grand prix.

Mistakes ultimately brought an end to his championship hopes in 2018 and this year he has continued to make high-profile errors in races, including a spin from a race-winning position in Bahrain, a mistake while leading the race in Canada that ultimately cost him victory and his collision with Max Verstappen at the last round in Silverstone.

But Vettel says he is fully aware of the mistakes he should be concerned about and is dealing with the pressure to up his performance in his own way.

"I always put myself under pressure so I can't be happy if things go wrong," he said ahead of the German Grand Prix this weekend. "But I think some of the things were bigger than others and I think the main thing is that we keep progressing in the right way.

"So for sure if I get something wrong and do a mistake, I can't be happy with that. The pressure I put on myself after that is bigger than any external factors. This has been the same for as long as I can remember.

"I think the best and most honest and straightforward way to deal with it is by myself as I know what I've done wrong and what I have done right. I know when I had the opportunity to do well and I think you are always your best judge no matter what you do. That is the rules by which I play."

Vettel has another year left on his Ferrari contract and says the challenge of bringing the famous Italian team back to winning ways is one of two factors motivating him to stay in F1.

"I don't know how long I am going to be here, but I love racing and I think these are the best and fastest cars there are. The joy that I get from driving is like it has always been and the motivation is high to get the job done with Ferrari. So they are the two things that dictate if I am going to be around for a while or not."

Vettel is currently 100 points off championship leader Lewis Hamilton in the standings after a disappointing first ten races of 2019. However, he says he still sees light at the end of the tunnel and the lack of a championship challenge has not changed his feeling towards the team.

"It doesn't feel like a burden, it feels like a privilege to go out and race for Ferrari," he said. "Obviously my mission and my goal and the team's goal is to get back to winning ways. If we do that then we have a much better chance to fight for the championship.

"Having said that, from when I joined to now it hasn't gone the way we wanted after the last two years but I think things are progressing in the right direction in the big picture. But the big picture doesn't interest you if you are not where you would like to be.

"We all know Formula One is a world where people are short-sighted, which is also fair and part of the game. But overall if things look good we are still missing that final step which is the most important step."