Latest News / Interview

Maurizio Arrivabene Q&A: There are no excuses

01 May 2016

Sebastian Vettel's second retirement in three races didn't exactly go down well at Ferrari - particularly given the four-time champion was an innocent party in Sochi. Daniil Kvyat might have apologised for twice making contact with Vettel, but that was little comfort for Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene...

Q: Maurizio, how did Sebastian react? He can't be very happy...

Maurizio Arrivabene: Well, he was not exactly going ballistic. But of course everybody can understand that he was far from being happy! He took a DNF in a race situation just recently – and now a second time, and it has nothing to do with him. That is not really something that makes for a happy face. Sebastian wants to win, and if something gets in your way that is frustrating. We talked calmly when he came into the garage – but calm didn't mean happy!

Q: Ferrari have lost a lot of points already this year, either through reliability issues or bad luck. How concerned are you that the championship situation is slipping out of your hands?

MA:  If I have to define the championship, we love the fight (laughs). We are looking for big challenges! What has happened is part of the DNA of racing. I don't think things can be explained as bad luck – there are mostly human mistakes behind the story. I prefer to have these kind of problems now instead later in the season. But of course we need to make sure that it doesn't happen again. Concerning the championship: we are not giving up! The team won't give up and we will put all our energy from now on into the next 17 races! There are still 425 points to be taken. So by only winning the next five races everything is wide open again. Nothing is lost and we're not giving up!

Q: Daniil Kvyat said that Sebastian (Vettel) was slowing down massively...

MA: ...of course - Kvyat hit him! What was Sebastian to do? Fly?

Q: But have you seen anything unusual on telemetry on Sebastian's car? Damage - or a puncture that slowed him down?

MA: To turn to telemetry is not the right way to look at this situation. If we look at the images it is quite clear. Sebastian told me that he touched him one time – just at the beginning, and just a bit – but the second impact was quit hard. And if you touch someone one time and he slows down it does not mean that you have to touch him another time. We don't need telemetry to understand this. From my first day I have always promised that I will be transparent and honest. Last time in China I did not complain to Kvyat; I said to myself that he did his job. This time I can't find any excuse for what happened. 

Q: Let's move to Ferrari's performance over the weekend. Were you surprised by the gap to Mercedes given the upgrade you brought? 

MA: On the Sochi circuit yes, I was surprised. Believe me: I don't want this to happen again. 

Q: You've said Ferrari won't give up on the championship. So what are you going to do differently to turn the situation around and deliver better results?

MA: First of all we have to stop making any more mistakes from our side! Secondly I trust that our performance is much better than what we've shown until now. The characteristics of the tracks that are coming now – and because of the [engine] tokens that we've spent – will help us. Of course the others are not sleeping or waiting for us, so we have to fight.

Q: Your president Sergio Marchionne was not amused by the result in China. Has he spone to you about Russia?

MA: I have not spoken to him yet, but for sure he is not going to be amused.

Q: Has the accident damaged any parts, like the gearbox, that could lead to another grid penalty for Sebastian?

MA: I have no idea. The crash was quite hard, especially to the back of the car. But until we have the car at home you can't say anything. Yes, the car looks pretty damaged – but how and where we will have to analyse.