Arrivabene ready to take the blame if Ferrari flops

Maurizio Arrivabene (ITA) Ferrari Team Principal.
© XPB 

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene says he'll be the one taking the blame if Ferrari fails in its bid to win the 2018 championship.

Sebastian Vettel is now 40 points behind Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in the drivers championship, while Ferrari is lagging their rivals by 37 points in the constructors standings with six races to go.

The Scuderia had been expecting to make ground on the Silver Arrows in both of the most recent two races in Monza and Singapore, only to see Hamilton take convincing victories in both.

In Singapore last weekend, Arrivabene insisted that if there was any blame for Ferrari's dip in performance then it had to be laid at his door.

“When the result is not coming, it’s my responsibility," he said this week. "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," he continued. "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.”

The team was criticised at Singapore for a qualifying strategy that backfired, potentially costing Vettel a shot at securing what could have been a crucial pole position.

And during the race, Ferrari opted for an aggressive pit stop strategy that failed to pay off and ended up dropping Vettel back to third place.

"We went for it, we tried, but it didn't work," Vettel himself said on Sunday. "The decision we took in the race to try and be aggressive. I believe we saw something so that's why we went for it.

"I will always defend the team," he added. "If it doesn't work it is easy to criticise, but I will always defend what we did."

Media pundits have also been directly critical of Vettel for making too many mistakes in 2018, compared to the apparently relentless Hamilton. But Arrivabene was having none of that.

“You call it mistakes but if you look in Formula 1 everybody is making mistakes," he said. "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."

“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 ‘Okay, if he’s pointing the finger at Sebastian, next time it’s my turn.’

"That's not what I want.

"Despite the [Singapore] result, not all is lost," he insisted. "Now, calmly and with determination, we will tackle the remaining six races, fighting all the way to the end."

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