Scuderia Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene says the reasoning behind the stewards’ decisions at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix “were not entirely clear”, as the Maranello team principal feels that the race decisions went against Ferrari. The Italian team finished off the podium for the second time in 2017, after the Canadian Grand Prix, with both drivers finding themselves in the middle of incidents during the race. Kimi Raikkonen was punted into a wall by Valtteri Bottas on the opening lap before sustaining a mid-race puncture and retiring on lap 46, while championship leader Sebastian Vettel was involved in the most controversial incident of the race.
While following race leader Lewis Hamilton before the second Safety Car restart, Ferrari’s German driver sped into the back of the Mercedes driver, something he blamed on Hamilton “brake-testing” him. Sebastian Vettel then drove up alongside Lewis Hamilton’s car and slammed into it side-on in protest, a move which earned him a 10-second stop-go penalty. However, Hamilton escaped a penalty of his own after stewards concluded the data proved he had not slammed on the brakes. Ferrari boss Arrivabene hinted that he was not entirely satisfied with this situation:
“I think that everything that happened today was clear to see for everyone, starting with the incident on the opening lap, with Kimi pushed into the barrier, then what happened to Sebastian on the restart lap after the Safety Car. We don’t want to get into an argument but I think I can say that some decisions that were not entirely clear, never worked in favour of our team. We fought hard even if the results don’t show it. As far as the race is concerned, our car was on the pace and that was clear to see, after a very difficult qualifying sessions, when we were far behind. The team demonstrated its strengths, from changing the engine on Seb’s car on Saturday to the work done on Kimi’s when the race was red flagged, to get it back out on track, despite the damage it had suffered. That’s Ferrari for you. We let our actions speak for us. We will continue in that vein immediately, in preparation for the remaining 12 races starting with the Austrian GP, with even more determination than before.” – Maurizio Arrivabene concluded.