Ferrari chief Arrivabene taking blame for Vettel mistakes

Mistakes in Germany and Italy have damaged Sebastian Vettel's F1 title bid, but Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene is not blaming his driver.

Published : Sep 14, 2018 21:23 IST

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel

As Ferrari's team principal, Maurizio Arrivabene believes he and not Sebastian Vettel should be taking the blame for the German's errors this season.

The four-time world champion has seen hopes of a fifth crown blighted by a costly mistake at his home grand prix in July, where he crashed out to open the door for Lewis Hamilton to take victory.

And in front of an expectant crowd earlier this month at Monza, a partisan following were disappointed to see a Ferrari one-two in qualifying converted only into second place for Kimi Raikkonen and fourth for Vettel, who collided with Hamilton on the opening lap and is now 30 points behind the Mercedes man in the drivers' standings.

At the Singapore Grand Prix on Friday, Vettel was third-fastest in the opening session, before his FP2 was cut short by a minor scrape with the wall.

Speaking in a media conference held between the two sessions, Arrivabene said: "You call it mistakes but if you look in Formula One 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. I mean, 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 pit stop, 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.

"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."

Vettel's team-mate Raikkonen, meanwhile, recorded the fastest time of FP2 at the end of a week in which it was confirmed he would be moving to Sauber from 2019, with Charles Leclerc heading in the opposite direction.

In a news conference on Thursday, Raikkonen was typically tight-lipped when discussing the subject, but Arrivabene expects the Finn to deal with the situation in a mature manner.

"I think Kimi was funny also yesterday during the press conference. I try to be funny too," Arrivabene said. "What did you expect Kimi to tell you, that Homer Simpson took the decision?

"Of course I took the decision but I have to say that the relationship with Kimi is so good that he understands. It's not only a question of telling him this is the decision. If you do my job properly, it's to take him through the process, and I took him through the process of the decision and he didn't even try to say 'yeah, I would like you to change your mind' or something. He's a professional driver. 

"I'm expecting from him the maximum of professional effort and to use all their professional skills and Kimi is one of them."

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