After a tough British Grand Prix weekend for Ferrari, Maurizio Arrivabene insists the team’s focus remains on challenging Mercedes for the title, and has not swtiched to fending off the growing threat from Red Bull.
The Scuderia was comprehensively outperformed by the Milton Keynes-based outfit at Silverstone last weekend, from qualifying pace to long runs during the race.
As the 2016 F1 campaign reaches the mid-season mark, Ferrari trails Mercedes by 131 points in the Constructors’ championship and has Red Bull breathing down its neck six points behind.
“I think the fact that Red Bull has performed very well is good for Formula One, it’s good for the competition, for the show,” Arrivabene offered. “I still think that our target is Mercedes and not Red Bull.
“At this stage of the season if I say we are going to give up, it’s not correct. We need to be focussed and in terms of problems, bad luck, and everything that we have already had, we are at the top in terms of points, and I hope that… we start to get better but to say that we are giving up, not at all.”
Besides Ferrari’s lack of pace - and downforce according to Kimi Raikkonen - the Maranello team’s progress was once again hampered by poor reliability when Sebastian Vettel had to take a new gearbox ahead of qualifying.
As a result, the four-time world champion had to drop five places on the grid for the second consecutive race, having a similar issue in Austria.
“This problem penalised a lot Sebastian,” said Arrivabene of the failure. “It’s the third time that we have this problem and I think it’s a concern. It’s something that we need to resolve as soon as possible.”