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Sebastian Vettel: Ferrari thinking about 2018

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ABU DHABI -- Sebastian Vettel says Ferrari switched its main focus to 2018 as soon as his title hopes faded away two races ago in Mexico.

Vettel won the most recent grand prix in Brazil, but it was too little too late after Lewis Hamilton clinched the title in Mexico City.

The final round of the season takes place in Abu Dhabi this weekend, and after Ferrari ran several development parts in Friday practice -- including a new diffuser on Kimi Raikkonen's car -- Vettel said the team is already thinking about its 2018 title campaign.

"We try stuff all the time to improve the car -- not specifically for next year -- but everything we tried the last two weeks is for next year," he said. "The mindset is that we are already in next year.

"Of course, it's important to finish on a high -- the better the result, the better the mood and we try our best -- but in our heads I think we are already thinking about next year's car."

Vettel finished Friday's second practice session 0.149s off the best time set by Lewis Hamilton and was 0.2s slower than the Mercedes in the final sector alone. Ferrari was expected to have the better car in the tight and twisty sector three this weekend, and Vettel hopes that he can turn the existing gap from Friday practice around to challenge for pole position on Saturday.

"Yeah, I don't know why. I saw that as well. I think they are very quick, I was very happy with the lap to be honest - maybe the last sector there was a bit more. Overall it was OK and we started off on the right foot. If I can behave in the final sector I should be better off."