Ferrari’s team principal Maurizio Arrivabene says he is to be blamed for the lack of results and not Sebastian Vettel or the team.
The Italian manufacturer looks in a better shape than Mercedes for the first time in years in Formula 1 with a genuine chance of winning both the drivers’ and the constructors’ titles in the 2018 season but they are far from it after 14 races.
They are 25 points down on Mercedes in the constructors’ standings while Vettel is 30 down on Lewis Hamilton. The reliability has been better as well from both ends as it has come down to the mistakes made on track by the team or the drivers.
Hamilton has had a better run in that department to be ahead of his German rival who has made some costly errors especially in Germany to find himself in the current situation. Questions has been raised about him cracking under pressure.
But his team boss Arrivabene is far from blaming the driver or even the team as the Italian reckons it is his responsibility to eke out better results. “You call it mistakes but if you look in Formula One everybody is making mistakes – bigger or smaller,” he said.
“If we are a team, we fail and we win together so I don’t want to point my finger at Sebastian. I mean, nobody was happy after Monza but think about the rest of the team. If in Monza I was pointing my finger at Sebastian, think about a problem on aero, a problem on the pitstop, a problem on the engine.
“The guys, they are responsible for the different areas, they could think ‘OK, if he’s pointing the finger at Sebastian, next time it’s my turn.’ It’s not what I want. The only mistake you see in front of you is me. I’m responsible for the team. When the result is not coming, it’s my responsibility.
“Not the responsibility of Sebastian or the engineer or the responsibility of the mechanics. It’s my responsibility. If you want somebody to blame, he’s in front of you. The job was done already. I tell you, you don’t need to continue, but if you want, I’m still here.
“But something that is very important, I accept any criticism because in three and a half years I didn’t want anything, OK? So I accept the criticism from everybody, especially from the people who won before me – but in good faith not in bad faith.
“Because bad faith is not correct. I’m a correct person and I would like to hear comments that are in good faith, and then I’m accepting everything. As I said, I didn’t want anything,” he explained.
The Italian also defended the call to not apply team orders in Monza – especially on Lap 1 itself, calling it crazy thing to do so. He added that the only thing they could tell them was to keep both cars intact on the exit of the first corner.
“I want to be clear, once and forever,” started Arrivabene. “I mean, I would ask some of you, all of you, who is so crazy to give team order to a driver at the start of the race? I mean, we do our thing with the maximum professional effort.
“Before the race we are looking at the video of the start of the race, our team manager is giving instruction on the best line to follow to the driver. The only team order you can tell to the driver at the first corner is “guys, I would like to have both of the cars OK.”
“All the rest, I mean, it’s nonsense. I explain you the reason why. Kimi, in the case of Monza, was in pole position. Do we agree for once on this? He was in pole position right? Sebastian was 8m from him.
“How you think that Kimi can look on his side where Sebastian is? In your opinion, the order is “Kimi, please slow down when you start, and don’t worry if Hamilton and all the others, they are overtaking you.” What we are discussing about?
“That is the answer to your question. And then, team order, do you think the team orders, they were invented in Monza last weekend? I don’t think so. It’s 28 years that I’m in Formula One and I always heard team orders.
“There are many ways to give it to the team: before, during, after. That’s not important. The problem in Monza is that you have no time to give team order to anyone, because at the third corner it’s happened what has happened.
“So, this is the reality. I mean, don’t expect me to give team orders to the driver at the start of the race, looking forward to the first corner. It’s too dangerous and it’s crazy,: Arrivabene explained.