Ferrari’s last corner weakness cost Raikkonen Spanish GP win – team
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene blamed the car’s performance in the Barcelona circuit’s final complex for Kimi Raikkonen’s failure to beat Max Verstappen in Formula 1’s Spanish Grand Prix.
Raikkonen spent the final third of the 66-lap race in the slipstream of Verstappen’s Red Bull, but was unable to get close enough coming out of the final corner to make an attempt to pass the 18-year-old down the main straight.
He was forced to settle for second behind the youngest race winner in F1 history.
The lead duo had two-stopped compared to the three pit visits of team-mates Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, who finished third and fourth.
Arrivabene said strategy was not the reason for Ferrari’s defeat.
"If we had reversed the strategy most probably Sebastian would have been in the same position as Kimi," he explained.
"The problem was not the strategy, the problem was – as happened in qualifying – we were not good enough in the last part of the track, in the slow corner.
"It was in the last part of the track the Red Bull was going big time, and Kimi was unable to catch him again until the end of the straight.
"So it wasn’t a question of strategy. The question is, like in qualifying, why were we very, very slow in the last part of the track?"
Raikkonen’s result brought him up to second in the drivers’ standings, 39 points behind Nico Rosberg.
"Kimi had a fantastic race in my opinion," added Arrivabene.
"It’s a pity we weren’t good enough in certain parts of the track to give him the possibility of winning the race."
Arrivabene also reserved praise for Verstappen, while recognising his team’s poor display in qualifying played its part in helping the teenager claim his page in the record books.
"Congratulations to Max because he had a very, very good race," said Arrivabene.
"But due to our poor qualifying we found ourselves in a quite difficult situation and we lost an occasion to win the race.
"So I’m not looking at Red Bull – and congratulations again to Max, I’m happy for him – I’m looking at the reality.
"If Mercedes had not crashed out then we were in trouble."
Ferrari F1 rumours on Maurizio Arrivabene made ‘to create tension’
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene feels the recent rumours regarding his Formula 1 future were designed to create tension within the team.
Speculation surfaced in the build up to the Spanish Grand Prix that Arrivabene was set to be replaced, potentially by technical director James Allison.
However, on the Sunday ahead of the race Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne, who was also recently confirmed as CEO, declared he had total confidence in Arrivabene.
Arrivabene, who has only been in the role 18 months after replacing Marco Mattiacci at the end of the 2014 season, was left frustrated by the gossip.
"I’m not listening to all these rumours," said Arrivabene.
"The only objective of these rumours is to create tension inside the team, and this is not helping.
"We need to focus our talent on what we are doing without listening to all of this."
Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel last week slated the rumours, insisting Arrivabene was doing "a very good job".
Arrivabene himself further ridiculed the scaremongering by claiming a character from acclaimed television series Game of Thrones was amongst those not mentioned as a potential candidate for his role.
"This rumour was also talking about somebody from Mercedes blah blah blah," added Arrivabene.
"Who’s taking advantage of this? No one.
"I said the other day that the only name they forgot to put into the list, because the list was full of names, was Tyrion Lannister.
"He’s maybe the best candidate, but they forgot to put his name on."
Parla tantissimo via radio Raikkonen, che fa un’analisi completa appena tagliato il traguardo, con tono da commentatore sportivo, quasi fosse in poltrona e non dopo 300 km a tutta: «Mi dispiace ragazzi, ci ho provato ma quando mi avvicinavo era così difficile seguire la macchina uscendo dall’ultima curva. Grazie per la buona strategia, abbiamo recuperato dopo una partenza piuttosto brutta. Grazie».
Altrettanto lunga l’analisi di Vettel: «Ci abbiamo provato, ma ovviamente con le gomme non siamo andati tanto lunghi come ci aspettavamo. Con le morbide la macchina era davvero buona, agevolmente mezzo secondo più veloci delle medie e oltre. Non capiamo perché eravamo lenti con le medie, fondamentalmente il posteriore era molto nervoso». Arrivabene, replica: «Grazie Sebastian, ben fatto, non preoccuparti».
Vettel-2: «E’ un po’ un peccato, pensavo ce l’avremmo potuta fare e vincere, ma era molto difficile sorpassare, la Red Bull era più veloce di noi nell’ultimo settore, faticavo con le posteriori, erano più veloci su curva 12 e nell’ultima chicane, ecco dov’era la differenza e perché non potevamo passare. Ho provato di tutto, grazie (in italiano)».