Ferrari Formula 1 team principal Maurizio Arrivabene says that his team must “challenge the impossible” if they are to catch Mercedes in the 2018 standings.
Looking at the championship standings, it’s very easy to surmise that Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton have got the titles sewn up but Arrivabene is not giving up on glory yet even after a disappointing Japanese Grand Prix which saw Kimi Raikkonen finish fifth with Sebastian Vettel sixth. The results left Mercedes with a 78-point lead in the Constructors’ Championship and with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton a 67-point lead over Vettel in the drivers’ chase.
“It’s easy to be pragmatic,” said Arrivabene. “I mean, yesterday we had the problem that everybody knows. As I’ve said many times, I was a bit disappointed yesterday but having said so, we win and we lose together and I’m the final one responsible.”
Playing a big part in the races of the Ferrari drivers was Max Verstappen. Running wide at the final chicane in the early laps, Verstappen was slapped with a five-second penalty for returning to the track in an unsafe manner. His return to the track had put him into the side of Raikkonen’s car but the next incident saw him become the victim.
Knowing Verstappen was carrying a penalty, Vettel still decided to go for an ambitious lunge on the Dutchman into the high-speed Spoon corner. The gap was never really there and contact was made which saw Vettel spin and drop to the back of the pack while Verstappen continued on to an eventual podium finish.
“But I have to say that concerning today, the team and the drivers, they react very well. We had circumstances during the race that they (Red Bull) impede us to achieve the podium. I think at least a podium was in our hands today and the car was going quite well.
Now, concerning the future races, I know that the situation looks impossible, but our job sometimes is to challenge the impossible and this is what we going to do and we try to do for the future four races.”