Scuderia Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said that the Maranello team was hoping for a very different result in the Chinese Grand Prix than third and eighth, particularly as the Italian side had a strong performance in the qualifying session on Saturday and started the race with both cars on the front row of the grid.
Finnish driver Kimi Räikkönen started second but finished third, but team-mate Sebastian Vettel ended eighth from pole position after a collision with Max Verstappen caused damage that lost him both time and positions before the chequered flag. The four-time Formula One world champion had already lost the lead to Valtteri Bottas in the pit stop sequence, but Arrivabene feels the variables of the race, which was turned on its head by the timing of the safety car for a collision between the two Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda drivers that left debris strewn across the track, cost Ferrari a significantly better result.
“This result was definitely not the one we were aiming for, given that we were starting from the front row” – Maurizio Arrivabene admitted, as reported by the Italian media – “Our race pace wasn’t bad, but this was a Grand Prix in which the many variables made the difference. Kimi made it to the podium and Sebastian limited the damage in a car which, after the collision, was not in the best of conditions for a fight.” – he added.
With the pace of the SF71-H not in question at this point of the season, Maurizio Arrivabene insists it is important for the team to keep their focus as they turn their attention to the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the end on the month: “Now it is important for us to maintain concentration and determination, already thinking about the next race in Baku.” – Scuderia Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene concluded.