Scuderia Ferrari German driver Sebastian Vettel says that he “absolutely” backs Maurizio Arrivabene to remain as Ferrari’s team boss, describing him as a “key person” in the team’s recovery. The Italian side has been a significant threat to Mercedes early in the season and initially pushed for both titles, but its efforts were derailed by a disastrous trio of Asian races. Mercedes officially secured a fourth successive Constructors’ crown at the US Grand Prix, while Sebastian Vettel is now 66 points down on Lewis Hamilton, with only 75 on offer over the final three rounds.
But despite recent setbacks, which have led to reports that Maurizio Arrivabene’s future at Ferrari is at risk, Sebastian highlighted the steps the Scuderia has taken under his leadership. Ferrari finished a lowly fourth in the 2014 standings, without a win, but returned to the top step as Maurizio Arrivabene and Sebastian Vettel arrived in 2015, rising to second overall. 2016 proved more challenging, as background changes, aimed at the long-term, were undertaken, with 2017 so far yielding four victories and 12 further podiums.
“Absolutely,” said Vettel, when asked if he would like Maurizio Arrivabene to stay onboard – “What are his strengths? Look at the results. Look at where Ferrari was after 2014, how competitive Ferrari was in 2014, and how, sorry to say, miserable shape it was [in]. The spirit was down, I think he’s the key person responsible for bringing most of that back, and to make the team grow, to open things up, to change things that have been set like that for, I don’t know, 20 years before that, just because they used to be like that. I think he has a very innovative and creative way of thinking, so I think he’s the right man. He’s a very strong leader, he’s well respected, I know he’s well respected by all the people, no matter which level of the company, so absolutely I’m a fan.” – the four-time Formula One world champion explained at the press conference ahead of the 2017 Mexican GP.
Sebastian Vettel is confident that Scuderia Ferrari will be able to win titles again: “If you look at the result, it’s coming. Obviously this year I would like it to be a bit different, especially towards the end, but these things happen. We are still growing, and we set ourselves the target at the very beginning, to grow and to do something new, something different – we’re still on that journey. Expectation is always high; if you finish second in the championship, the year after you want to win, and you don’t manage [to do it]…But I think where we’ve gone from 2015 to 2016, especially through 2016, and then for 2017, things are heading the right way.” – the German driver concluded.