Ferrari is “very close” to its goal of bringing the title back to Maranello after more than a decade.
That is the view of Pirelli CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera, even though Ferrari has been defeated by Mercedes in both world championships this year.
But Pirelli’s Tronchetti Provera told Rai radio: “Ferrari did an extraordinary job.
“The loss of the leadership of Sergio Marchionne hurt morale,” the Italian explained.
“Maurizio Arrivabene did a great job to keep the team together and make it competitive. They are very close to the goal that all of Italy wants to see,” he added.
Sebastian Vettel has been heavily criticised for his role in Ferrari’s defeat this year, with Tronchetti Provera saying Lewis Hamilton’s “extraordinary continuity mattered a lot” to the outcome this year.
“Vettel is a great champion who in some moments lost a bit of confidence. The arrival of Leclerc can be a positive injection of energy and we all hope that it will be a boost of youth and character,” he added.
Finally, Tronchetti Provera confirmed that Pirelli is determined to beat off Hankook’s challenge and remain the official F1 tyre supplier beyond 2019.
“This year we did an extraordinary job,” he claimed. “I give ourselves a score of more than 8.
“We are interested in staying in F1, because the challenges are enormous and going to 18 inches is a complex job that requires a lot of technology.”