Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2018

Marchionne hails Ferrari’s “perfect strategy”

2018 Australian Grand Prix

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Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne congratulated the team on its winning start to the 2018 F1 season following Sebastian Vettel’s victory in the Australian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Albert Park, 2018
2018 Australian Grand Prix in pictures
“There could have been no better start for Ferrari in this championship,” said Marchionne in a statement.

“Listening to Italy’s national anthem echo around Melbourne was an emotional moment for us all, and for every fan of the Scuderia. It’s the best possible reward for the team, which built a competitive car and used a perfect strategy to take advantage of the way the race evolved.”

Vettel, who ran third early in the race, took the lead through his pit stop during the Virtual Safety Car period. Early leader Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen had already made their pit stops but lost more time doing so while the track was clear.

It is the second year in a row Ferrari has won the season-opening race. Both cars finished on the podium as Raikkonen took third. “Congratulations to Sebastian and Kimi, both drove a great race,” said Marchionne.

“Of course there’s still a long way to go in the series, with 20 more grands prix. So it would be wrong to celebrate too much. We know that we still have a lot of work ahead of us, but the first step has been taken in the right direction.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 26 comments on “Marchionne hails Ferrari’s “perfect strategy””

    1. “best possible reward for the team” ? Seeing your cars outpaced in the race by 2 teams and completely dominated in Quali is the best reward? yeah right…

      1. Save the sour grapes till later, let them enjoy this win!

        1. You guys don’t get it. By “perfect strategy” he means having a B team ready to do the dirty work for you when (yet again) your A team doesn’t deliver. Vettel also talked about a “nice strategy” while he was still in the car. I loved how Croft and Brundle commented on that one:
          Croft: What strategy?
          Brundle: It’s lucky because how would you know that the wheel is not gonna go on the Haas properly? For both of them…
          Croft: Yes, I think the technical collaboration doesn’t extend to that particular knowledge…

          1. Tell that to Gene Haas and let me know what he answers – after he has punched you in the face, that is.

            1. @telegrafista: Just talked to him. This is what he had to say:
              the Haas F1 Team and its managing director Gunter Steiner personally wish to state they have commenced criminal proceedings concerning the making of false allegations
              Sounds familiar? Yeah, actually that was Briatore’s official statement (names adapted) after being accused of Crashgate in 2009. Not sure if Briatore punched Piquet in the face, though, but I bet he wanted to.

            2. There is the small difference that in that case Briatore managed to get a win for his team, whereas in this case Haas should have destroyed one of the best results in their history, possibly worth one or two positions in the WCC standings and therefore millions in cash prize next year, just to favour another team. It doesn’t make sense, but if you want to believe that, fine, I won’t waste any more more time discussing it.

    2. This was a “lucky” strategy, not “perfect”. I hate when that happens.

    3. Saying “perfect strategy” is at least suspicious. Thinking today’s victory as a result of strategy is bad only for Ferrari.

      1. LMAO. Me too. When I read this, I was like: Hmm… let the conspiracies begin”. But, he is ridiculous to say that it was won on strategy because Lewis’ pace on the soft tyre was really fast. It is also absurd to say that Haas would sabotage one of their cars just to allow Ferrari to win since Kevin and Romain were running high in the order.

        1. What’s so ridiculous? He’s enjoying the victory as there shouldn’t be more for Ferrari than last year. Is he more ridiculous than HAM claiming it was him who made the +0.6sec difference compared to 2nd place… and not the car?! Do not think so…

          1. It would appear that Hamilton wasn’t just claiming. Data analysis and even Better agreed that most of that time was down to the driver . Not arguing that the machine was tops too.
            See the link below.

            Toto Wolf also said it was the same mode for the 2 runs in Q3

        2. Yeah, these conspiracy theorists are so ridiculous. To suggest that an F1 driver would ruin his own race to fix the race result, can you imagine?

          They even made up a more ridiculous story a few years ago, saying that a Renault driver had fixed a race by crashing his car on purpose to provoke a safety car that allowed his team mate to win. Like the guy would ruin his own race and even risk his life to fix the race. Ridiculous, I tell you.

    4. Ferrari could only afford such strategy because there was no Bottas.

      1. This is exactly what I thought

      2. And HAM could afford to win last year ’cause there was Kimi in the 2nd Ferrari! And we can continue like this forever…

      3. There was a Bottas.
        He just ‘did not show up’. The way he drove this weekend I doubt he would have qualified in the top 3 and we saw that he was too cautious overtaing even midfield teams.

    5. A lot of hate and/or bad reading practices and/or non comprehension of the sport. ” (..) used a perfect strategy to take advantage of the way the race evolved.” – How is this anything but true, (so) why should this be indicative of any foul play? The race evolved in such a way that a VSC and a SC were deployed, after Ham had already pitted and Vet, with a big enough lead, had not. So the “perfect strategy” for Fer-Vet was to come in during the (V)SC period, and so it happened.

      1. Spot on.
        But the commenters were lured into this by the sensationalist title.
        A better title would have been: ‘Marchione hails Ferrari’s “taking advantage of the way the race evolved”‘.
        But that would not have as many comments

      2. A lot of hate and/or bad reading practices and/or non comprehension of the sport.


    6. Perfect strategy? I was wondering if Ferrari had sacrificed Kimis race in the hope of putting themselves in the position of running Vettel long and hoping for a SC. Sounds like it was. Poor Kimi :(

      1. Any proof? Pretty sure you said the same thing last year when VET was in front and pitted first, VET “always having priority”. Now RAI was in front, he got the priority and pitted first and put VET on a longer stint. I really don’t see anything wrong this time.

    7. Calling that a perfect strategy shows how little he actually understands F1.
      The team would be better off if he stayed away from it and did his job crunching numbers and selling cars.

    8. A perfect strategy means it would succeed as it was planned. So he meant to imply the Haas accident are choreographed? (No, I’m not starting conspiracy here, just saying its absurd to use the word ‘perfect strategy’).

      1. @sonicslv

        A perfect strategy means it would succeed as it was planned.

        For a second you understood.

        1. @alonshow Yeah, so if it’s perfect then the VSC in the correct window is planned beforehand, which is my point. If you can’t guaranteed it will happen and just plan for just in case, it’s not perfect strategy, just common strategy in F1.

          1. @sonicslv: Exactly. And that’s why Marchionne used the word “perfect”, because it wasn’t a “just in case”. He could guarantee it was going to happen. He MADE IT happen. As the CEO of a multinational company, he’s an expert at speaking in front of millions and choosing his words carefully. “Perfect strategy” was a very accurate choice of words.

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