Maurizio Arrivabene heralded a ‘fantastic’ victory for Sebastian Vettel in the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday, but the Scuderia Ferrari team principal feels there should have been more to celebrate, only for Kimi Räikkönen to suffer a retirement after getting damage from first lap contact.
Vettel took his fifth win of the season after overcoming polesitter and championship leader Lewis Hamilton on the Kemmel Straight on the opening lap, and from there on was untroubled at the front of the field.
Unfortunately, Daniel Ricciardo clipped Räikkönen’s car at the exit of turn one, albeit after being hit by an out-of-control Fernando Alonso after the Spaniard had already been crashed into by Nico Hülkenberg, which caused a puncture as well as floor and wing damage, with a Drag Reduction System (DRS) issue ultimately forcing him to retire.
Arrivabene was delighted to see Ferrari return to winning ways after seeing Hamilton take the two previous victories at the Hockenheimring and Hungaroring, with the SF71H showing just how strong it is this season.
“That was a fantastic win today, with a great race from Seb and the whole team which, both at the track and back in Maranello, fought back from yesterday’s difficulties in a strong, calm and determined manner, while the car showed all its potential,” said Arrivabene.
“What happened to Kimi is a real shame and, but for that, we might have had even more to celebrate and the Constructors’ classification would look a bit different.”
Arrivabene says it is important to carry the momentum from Spa-Francorchamps into the rest of the season, starting this coming weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, which is the home race for the team, and he hopes that Ferrari can give the Tifosi something to cheer about at the end of the season as the try to win both championship titles.
“Now, the important thing is to carry on working with determination and humility, without ever giving up,” said the Italian. “Now we come to Monza and right from Wednesday, we will get the chance to get close to our fans during the event at Darsena di Milano.
“I am sure that will be able to count on the support of all our tifosi, as the championship goes on, getting more and more interesting. We hope that, come the end of the year, we can give them something to really smile about.”