As Ferrari’s title hopes all but lie in tatters after this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, Ferrari;s F1 chief Maurizio Arrivabene remains defiant, despite the Scuderia’s season seeming to implode, let down yet again by reliability issues seemingly out of their control. “Everybody saw what happened so give me the answer,” Arrivabene demanded, when asked about the spark plug failure on Sebastian Vettel’s car. Starting on the front row alongside title rival Lewis Hamilton, F1 fans were poised for a real battle on the track but that all unfolded as the German was forced to retire on lap 4 with the car having spark plug issues.
Arrivabene went on to defend the team ‘“You see any mistake done by the team?” as a source reported that the failure had come from an external supplier near Maranello. The same source claimed the air-intake failures which afflicted both cars in Sepang the previous weekend were caused by failures in the manifolds supplied by an external supplier.
However Kimi Raikkonen, who managed to finish albeit it not having the performance to challenge the MercedesAMG or Red Bull duo’s, admitted to finding the recent reliability issues all a bit weird “…I don’t know what happened; we have made a lot of improvements over the last few years as a team, but now, for whatever reason, we suddenly seem to have technical issues coming out from nothing,” Raikkonen said, per the official Formula One website.
“It’s kind of weird, our cars are running perfectly and suddenly on Sunday there is a problem that nobody expects.
“There is some work to be done on that side. Then we are going to push until the last lap of the last race and we’ll see where we end up.”
Naturally all this has led to Vettel left feeling hurt, as he literally has to stand on the sidelines and watch his title challenge disappear “Of course it hurts, and we’re all disappointed.’ he went on to say “It is obviously a pity the last two races with the reliability issues, but you know, it’s like that sometimes.
“But now we need to get back, get some rest and then go flat out for the last four races and see what happens.”
With only 4 races remaining and Vettel having only won one of the last 10 races the odds are stacked against him but as you would expect from a former World Champion he refuses to write off hopes of a fifth world championship this year.
“We still have a chance, but yeah, obviously it’s not as much in our control as we’d like,” he said.
“Overall the team is in a good way and we are improving race by race.
“We’ve gone a lot further than people thought. So, there’s also some positives.