Maurizio Arrivabene, Managing Director of Gestione Sportiva and Team Principal of the Scuderia Ferrari Team, admitted that he will take full responsibility for any mistakes made by his team amid its continued battle against Mercedes in the 2018 Formula 1 world championship.
Lewis Hamilton’s seventh win of the season at the Singapore Grand Prix enabled him to extend his championship lead over Sebastian Vettel to 40 points, while Ferrari also trails Mercedes in the constructors’ standings by 37 points. The Maranello team had been tipped for a strong weekend in Singapore given Mercedes’ struggles for pace at the circuit last year, but Hamilton turned in a stunning lap to snatch a surprise pole position in qualifying, setting him up for a flawless run to victory.
Speaking in the Friday press conference for team representatives ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, Arrivabene commented: “The only mistake you see in front of you is me. I’m responsible for the team: “When the result is not coming, it’s my responsibility. Not the responsibility of Sebastian or the engineer or the responsibility of the mechanics. It’s my responsibility. If you want somebody to blame, he’s in front of you. The job was done already. I tell you, you don’t need to continue, but if you want, I’m still here! I accept the criticism from everybody, especially from the people who won before me – but in good faith not in bad faith. Because bad faith is not correct.” – he explained.
Maurizio Arrivabene’s defence of his team came after questions were raised about Ferrari’s tactics in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix and its reluctance to implement team orders in order to strengthen Vettel’s title bid after he was beaten to pole at Monza by Kimi Raikkonen.
Sebastian Vettel went on to clash with Hamilton on the opening lap and spun to the back of the field – the latest in a string of notable mistakes made by the German this year – as Hamilton went on to triumph, before going on to make it back-to-back victories a fortnight later after Ferrari’s hopes diminished in Singapore: “You call it mistakes but if you look in Formula 1 everybody is making mistakes. Bigger or smaller. If we are a team, we fail and we win together so I don’t want to point my finger at Sebastian,” he added – “Nobody was happy after Monza but think about the rest of the team. If in Monza I was pointing my finger at Sebastian, think about a problem on aero, a problem on the pitstop, a problem on the engine. The guys, they are responsible for the different areas, they could think ‘OK, if he’s pointing the finger at Sebastian, next time it’s my turn.’ It’s not what I want.” – Maurizio Arrivabene concluded.