Ferrari believes that its deficit to Mercedes is now just one-tenth of a second despite its archrival’s dominant performance at the Chinese Grand Prix last weekend.
Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg has managed to maintain Mercedes’ strong start to the campaign and claimed his third straight win of 2016 at the Chinese GP, a victory made more straightforward by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel colliding with teammate Kimi Raikkonen at Turn 1. During the race, Ferrari has squandered an opportunity to get a car onto the front row when Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo jumped ahead of both its drivers into the second slot, but Vettel and Raikkonen fought back from the first lap incident to finish second and fifth respectively in the grand Prix.
But Ferrari F1 team principal Maurizio Arrivabene thinks that his squad has failed to show its true potential last weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix.
“In qualifying we could target pole position,” Arrivabene said in a statement, via the ESPN.com. “With our calculation, we believed we were one tenth behind Mercedes, which is a margin that with a final push from the drivers could even be reduced to zero. But it didn’t happen.
“In qualifying there were mistakes, but in the race they did well. I also saw a great thing from Seb – who in the pits passed two cars. He demonstrates why his salary is higher than that of Carlos Sainz.”
The Ferrari boss claims that both Ferrari drivers are working hard to bring the team closer to Mercedes and reserved special praise for Vettel’s crucial decision to pass two slow cars on the entry to the pit lane early in the recent Chinese GP.
F1 insiders said that Ferrari’s results in the early stages of the campaign have been hurt by some reliability issues, with Kimi Raikkonen suffering from a turbo failure in Australian GP and Sebastian Vettel having a troubled engine in Bahrain GP. Arrivabene explained that such technical issues are the price the Ferrari team has paid for making a deliberate push increase its performance for 2016.
Ferrari plans to take some minor updates in the upcoming Russian Grand Prix, making steady progress through a more focused campaign rather than a series of staged bigger jumps.
Picture Courtesy: Andrew Griffith/Wikipedia.org
Formula 1 2016 – Chinese Grand Prix Race Highlights:
Video Courtesy: F1 Pit Wall [Race Edits/Highlights]/Youtube.com