Asked how he dealt with the latest setback at Silverstone, world champion Vettel joked: "I had a refreshing shave this morning."
The 27-year-old was talking at an event for his sponsor, the shaving brand Braun.
"On Monday you're a little down, on Tuesday you're a bit better," Vettel smiled.
He played down the likelihood of a victory at Hockenheim next weekend.
"Mercedes is in a very, very strong position," said Vettel, "but the podium is the target."
Asked if he is struggling to deal with the situation in the context of his earlier successes, he insisted: "There is no reason not to be motivated.
"You cannot always be the best. But you can do your best. Others have just done a better job than we have."
Vettel said Red Bull is working hard to return to the top.
"It will be a lot of little steps, not just a big one," he explained. "It's obviously hard work, but then it feels even better when you succeed."