Scuderia Ferrari has no plans to make big changes to its organisation following two frustrating Formula One weekends, despite its president Sergio Marchionne suggesting that was the case, says Sebastian Vettel, ahead of the 2017 Japanese GP. Sebastian Vettel and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen were wiped out in an accident on the first lap of the Singapore Grand Prix, while in Malaysia an engine problem consigned Sebastian to the back of the grid and prevented and Kimi from taking the start.
As a result, the German driver has now fallen 34 points adrift of Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ standings while Scuderia Ferrari trails Mercedes by 118. After the race, an “angry” Sergio Marchionne suggested there were plans for changes to the organisation but when those comments were put to Sebastian Vettel, he said: “I heard that as well, not from him, but from the press so I’m not sure it’s put in the right context. But what happens on track, happens on track. The thing that happened in Singapore, I don’t think you can take much action. We had a problem in Malaysia that stopped myself and Kimi. So it is normal you try to understand things and it’s normal we have a shift in people. But knowing what is going on internally, there is no panic, no big plans as a reaction. Maybe it is more a coincidence of events with the interview, but as far as I know nothing big happens.” – the German driver said, as reported by the Italian media on Thursday.
The Maranello team believes that the engine problem Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen suffered in Malaysia is similar and while it has found a way to manage it for Japan, investigations are continuing: “We have a good understanding [of the problem] but it is still ongoing to try and understand the picture completely. It’s only been a couple of days, so parts went back to understand and get a full picture but I am pretty sure here shouldn’t be an issue.” – the four-time Formula One world champion added.
Sebastian Vettel said that he is “quite happy everything is OK” with his gearbox, as Scuderia Ferrari analysis showed it was not damaged in his crash with Lance Stroll after the chequered flag in Malaysia: “We will have to wait until we are back in the car [with that gearbox], which will be on Saturday, but it should be fine from what I heard.” – Sebastian concluded.