Ferrari must switch from fighter to a winner – Arrivabene

Maurizio Arrivabene says winning must become a habit for Ferrari if it is to challenge for titles next season.

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene.   -  Getty Images

Maurizio Arrivabene says Ferrari must change its mentality from "a fighter to a winner" next year if it is to have any chance of ending Mercedes' dominance of Formula One.

Lewis Hamilton was crowned world champion for a fifth time with two races to spare and Mercedes sealed a fifth consecutive constructor's title at the Brazilian Grand Prix last time out.

It is 11 years since Ferrari last had an F1 champion, Kimi Raikkonen taking his only title for the Italian team.

Ferrari has not claimed a constructor's title for a decade and team principal Arrivabene has outlined what must change in order to end the drought.

"We need to win enough to win the championship, of course. Then it depends on the performance of the other teams, how many," he told the media at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Friday.

"Having said so, the habit to win, it's very simple. If you are doing one-two it doesn't have to be an exceptional event. It must be a habit, as I said. 

"In that way you are changing and you swap your mentality from a fighter to a winner. That’s it."

Arrivabene also insisted Sebastian Vettel should not take the blame for Ferrari falling short again this year.

He said: "I don't want to point the finger at the team or on the driver. If we are losing, we are losing together. If we are winning, we are winning together. And that’s it."

Valtteri Bottas set the pace for Mercedes in the second practice session at the Yas Marina Circuit on Friday, edging out Red Bull's Max Verstappen by 0.044 seconds under the lights.

Verstappen's departing team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was third-fastest ahead of Hamilton, with Raikkonen and Vettel fifth and sixth respectively.

Dutchman Verstappen – licking his wounds after a crash with Esteban Ocon cost him victory at Interlagos – headed a Red Bull one-two in FP1.

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