Ferrari’s Sergio Marchionne: “This is not the destination but the first step”


Sebastian Vettel took victory in Australia to the delight of Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne - Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne was delighted to see Sebastian Vettel take victory at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, but insisted the win is only the first step in making the team champions once more.

For the first time since the Singapore Grand Prix in 2015 did the Italian national anthem play on the podium, and Marchionne felt some kind of relieve that the wait was over for another win for the Maranello-based team.

“It was about time,” said Marchionne on Sunday. “I am delighted for the team and for our Tifosi who stood by us throughout this whole period. We’ve been waiting for this victory for almost a year and a half. Hearing the Italian national anthem again was very moving.

“Sebastian delivered a great race and I am sure Kimi [Raikkonen] will be soon up there battling alongside his team-mate. Of course, this victory is something to share with the entire team, both at the circuit and back in Maranello, because teamwork is the only way to achieve major goals.

“Now, however, it is absolutely essential to remember that this is not the destination but the first step on a long road that must see us all focused on improving each and every day.”

Marchionne also had time to congratulate their 2017 reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi on his race debut, with the Italian having stepped into the Sauber F1 Team in place of Pascal Wehrlein, who withdrew from the event due to fitness concerns on Saturday morning.

“Congratulations to Antonio for his debut in Formula 1,” said Marchionne, who saw Giovinazzi finish twelfth despite having very little track time ahead of his debut race.

Antonio Giovinazzi finished twelfth on his Grand Prix debut with Sauber – Credit: Sauber Motorsport AG