While the Italian media and the tifosi might have decided on who is to blame for Ferrari‘s failure to secure the 2018 drivers’ title, team boss Maurizio Arrivabene insists the no individual is responsible, that the team collectively failed.
Though the all-important constructors’ title is still up for grabs, much like the Drivers’ Championship, with a 55 point lead, it appears to be a case of when Mercedes will claim the crown as opposed to if.
While the season got off to the perfect start with back-to-back wins in the opening races, in the second half of the year a combination of factors allowed Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton to once again stamp their authority on the title fight.
Talking to reporters at the Ferrari Finali Mondiale at Monza however, Arrivabene absolutely refused to blame a single individual for the team’s failure, though he admitted to losing his temper following the team’s tyre strategy error during qualifying.
“There was a moment when we were a phenomena,” he said, according to Motorsport.com, “then a phase in which the finger was pointed at the driver, and finally followed by a period where the car was the target.
“In the end we understood even more that we win and we lose all together,” he added. “There were mistakes from Vettel and to a lesser extent from the team, but the lesson we have understood is that you do not need to point the finger at someone.
“There is a manager of the racing team and it’s me. I got angry once, but I think that once in three and a half years we can accept. When things go wrong I’m here, and I’ve always said it. But when it’s all right, my satisfaction is to go under the podium, sing the anthem, and applaud. Once, maybe I will also get on the podium, but there is a long list of people who deserve to go there before me.”
The various mistakes in the latter half of the season have clearly affected Vettel, but Arrivabene insists it is vital the team continues to give its full support to the German.
“Raikkonen and Vettel are similar in many ways,” he said. “But while with Kimi in some moments you need to talk a bit more, with Seb you need to make him feel the support of the team.
“He was criticised a lot for what happened at Monza,” he continued, “but he was just trying to give a great satisfaction to the fans, and he struggled a lot to digest the outcome of that weekend. In this sense it did not help him to find in the following races that he had a car that was not at its best. These are understandable problems, and the human factor is important.”
As many point to the fact that, as is so often the case, Ferrari appears determined to shoot itself in the foot, he admitted the Italian team does have a unique attitude to winning.
“There are areas where we are superior, others where they are,” he said of Mercedes. “But I think we still lack the habit of winning.
“For them to have a 1-2 is almost ordinary,” he continued. “For us it is still an exceptional event. We must be more aware of our means, and not be afraid of winning. In tennis they call it ‘il braccino’, the fear of winning that comes when you are close to the goal. We must trust ourselves, and make the victory a good habit.”