Sebastian Vettel is adamant Ferrari can avoid a repeat of its end of season slump from last year, insisting the team has plenty of “potential to unleash” in the remaining nine rounds.

Despite leading the championship for the majority of 2017, Vettel saw his title challenge evaporate due to a costly first-lap crash in Singapore and a series of mechanical issues that blighted his hopes of becoming Ferrari’s first world champion for 10 years.

Although the Italian outfit looks to have the fastest car on the grid, it finds itself behind rivals Mercedes in both championships, with Vettel’s crash while leading the German Grand Prix and a series of misdemeanours in Hungary throwing away vital points.

With a lot of points at stake in the second half of the season, the German holds belief that Ferrari’s 2018 car is as “efficient and strong” as its predecessor to help guide the team to championship glory.

“As we’ve seen this year the pendulum seems to swing once this side, once that side, and obviously if it’s like this, consistency is the key – scoring points,” Vettel said.

“I didn’t do myself a favour last week [in Germany] but I think it’s part of racing. Stuff happens.

“Compared to last year, we lost the championship I think because our car wasn’t quick enough to be a match in the final part of the season, despite what happened with the DNFs.

“So I hope that this year, and I think this year has shown so far that our car is more efficient, our car is stronger and still has a lot of potential to unleash – so I’m quite confident with what’s sitting in the pipeline that we can improve .

“So, we’ll see. Should be an exciting second part of the year.”

Vettel has a 24-point deficit to championship leader Lewis Hamilton at the mid-season break, while Ferrari is only 10 points adrift of Mercedes in the constructors’ standings.