Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has urged the team to find a cure for its late season collapse in 2017 that saw the Scuderia miss out on a first drivers’ title for 10 years.
Despite seriously threatening world champions Mercedes’ dominance for the majority of last year, a series of mechanical issues saw its championship challenge gradually fade during the final rounds of the season.
The Italian outfit nevertheless endured its most successful campaign since 2010, with five victories over the 20 rounds, but Arrivabene insists the team is pushing hard to go one step better in 2018.
“To summarise the season, if you want to have a quick summary and want to use the example of the glass of water — I don’t like wine — mid-season we were thirsty, and end-of-season we were using the water because we take a pill because we have a bit of headache and that’s the summary of the season,” Arrivabene said.
“Apart from that I think the team was pushing, really hard. They were working well. We have certain circumstances that they were not in our favour. I have to say congratulations to Mercedes. They won and they deserved the drivers’ and constructors’ championships. For 2018 we try to do our best to be better.”
Arrivabene was quick to defend Ferrari’s decision to retain Kimi Raikkonen for another year, despite calls for the Finn to be dropped in favour of its young protege Charles Leclerc, who will makes his Formula 1 debut with Sauber this season.
Reflecting on Raikkonen’s performances, Arrivabene said: “I don’t trust on luck or not luck, even if I’m Italian.
“I trust on fact and fact means points. Bad luck or good luck is not influencing this. Sometimes it could be in terms of perception or because maybe other drivers are crashing on his car, the final reality is the points you are scoring and this is what is making a driver good or bad.
“We are happy about the performance of Kimi, by the way, otherwise we are not confirming him.”