Scuderia Ferrari has to work hard in order to identify the best long-term solutions to its recent reliability problems that have damaged its Formula One championship hopes this season, according to Sebastian Vettel. The four-time Formula One world champion and team-mate Kimi Raikkonen suffered engine issues in Malaysia while a spark plug problem forced the German driver to retire for the second time in three races in Japan.
As a result, Sebastian Vettel now trails F1 title rival Lewis Hamilton by 59 points with 100 remaining ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix at Austin while Ferrari is 145 adrift of Mercedes in the constructors’ championship. When asked if Scuderia Ferrari’s recent reliability problems were a result of the team’s development push, Vettel said: “No, I don’t think so. There are reasons for the issues we had: “There are things we must do better as a team, things that need to be managed and steered better from our side. It is normal you push the limits. Sometimes you push them too far. Sometimes you do small mistakes that have a consequence later on. It’s always a mix of those things but things can break. It hurts a lot when it happens but it doesn’t happen for no reason so we need to make sure we find a solution to the problem and not just fix it but find a solution for the long term.” – Sebastian Vettel explained, as reported by the Italian media.
Scuderia Ferrari reacted to the failures by reorganising its quality control department, with Maria Mendoza drafted in from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Sebastian Vettel feels team boss Maurizio Arrivabene is doing a good job of pulling the team together and making sure it is pushing in the right direction: “I don’t think there is time to panic because we are so busy. Maurizio is doing a very good job in keeping everyone in the right line, looking forward. My role is to push as hard as possible on the track. Day to day, Maurizio is a lot more around for the people and there for the people. He’s doing well. We are very busy. There’s not much time to think about many things.” – the German driver concluded.