Ferrari’s Arrivabene rues compromised start

by Rachel Hack

Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene was disappointed with the result that the team came away with at the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend, in a race that saw them compromised early on when an incident involving driver Sebastian Vettel ended in the German retiring from the race at the very first corner.

“Clearly, this was not the result we had wanted.

“In a very tactical race like the one we had today, having both cars on track would have been of fundamental importance. So, seeing what had happened to Seb, we planned a very aggressive strategy for Kimi, but then everybody else did the same.”

Although the Maranello based squad’s other driver, Kimi Raikkonen, managed to bring the SF16-H home in fourth place, Arrivabene feels the damage the Finn sustained to his floor during a coming together with the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS of Nico Rosberg on Lap 37, definitely hindered the 36-year-old’s performance.

“It’s a pity that some damage affected Kimi’s performance today: first, a piece of rubber got stuck in the rear wing profiles, causing the wing to stall and then there was the collision with Rosberg which caused further damage to the bodywork.”

To add to Ferrari’s weekend woes, Vettel was also handed a three place grid penalty for the next round in Japan, after stewards deemed his move up the inside of Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen at Turn 1, to be an error of judgement on the German’s part, seeing him make contact with Rosberg and ultimately hampering his race.

Arrivabene was unwilling to discuss the stewards’ ruling on the matter, but confirmed he had spoken to the four-time world champion about it.

“As for Seb’s incident at the start, I talked to him and I’d rather not comment on the stewards’ decision.”

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