Maurizio Arrivabene, Ferrari, Singapore, 2018

Ferrari didn’t lose championships due to mistakes – Arrivabene

2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene denied errors by the team and its drivers cost them a chance of winning this year’s championships.

Mercedes won the constructors’ championship at the last race in Brazil and Lewis Hamilton clinched the drivers’ title ahead of Sebastian Vettel the round before that. Speaking in today’s FIA press conference Arrivabene insisted it was “not correct” to blame mistakes for Ferrari’s defeats.

“We started the season in very good shape,” said Arrivabene. “And then as Sebastian said yesterday he made mistakes then from Monza we were not there with the car, this is a fact too if you are talking about facts.

“So I don’t want to point the finger on the team or on the driver. If we are losing we are losing together. If we are winning we are winning together. That’s it.”

Arrivabene said Ferrari need to score regular one-two finishes to be championship contenders.

“You need to win enough to win the championship, of course. Then it depends on the performance of the other teams.

“The idea to win is very simple. If you are doing one-two, doesn’t have to be an exceptional event, must be a habit. That way you change your mentality from a fighter to winner.”

Ferrari won six races to Mercedes’ 10 this year but. While Ferrari hasn’t had any one-twos, Mercedes has taken four this season.

Yesterday Vettel said the team needs a “stronger package” next year. ” We certainly have had our moments this year when we had strong races but we also had races which weren’t very strong, we weren’t quick enough.

“Overall it’s the speed that decides and I think more often than not I think we’re lacking a little bit of speed. I think we’re working very hard and I think the motivation is there to do that final step that is still outstanding.”

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40 comments on “Ferrari didn’t lose championships due to mistakes – Arrivabene”

  1. But they did lose the championship due to mistakes – on both sides, driver and team. You could sit and debate which is worse, Vettel crashing out from the lead or the team making 4 months worth of useless updates all year but the truth is their ‘mistakes’ cost them the championship. I mean you could argue without driver error it’d be closer, but then it’d also be closer if Ferrari didn’t make ridiculous strategies or make updates that make the car slower.

    1. Making choices is not the same as making mistakes. Some choices do not deliver and some do.
      What Arri said was not to point to someone.. they win as a team and they lose as a team.

      1. They’ve been winning and losing as a team for eternity. Besides that PR garble, Mauricio has to be able to identify where they fell short. I would say car development was a minor hiccup thru should address and obviously the larger blame lies with the drivers, who as you mentioned made mistakes and not bad choices.

        1. @todfod

          I think the teams strategy errors are just as bad as Sebs mistakes.

          1. @rethla
            Both teams made strategic errors and messed up from time to time. It’s just that we notice Ferraris more because they lost and we’re evaluating why they lost.

          2. @todfod yeh Mercedes and Hamilton is far from flawless even if people here like to think otherwise. It will be hard for Ferrari to grab a title if they dont take their chances now when Red Bull is still looking for a competent power unit.

            Their winnow campain says it all. They where planning for the pr of winning more than actually focusing on winning.

        2. @todfod sure, but you don’t do that during a press confernce.

          The article title was a bit clickbaity, because of course mistakes cost them the title. But once I read the article, I gained some respect for Arrivabene. You definately win/lose as a team.

    2. They also lost cause RAI was nowhere most of the season and Bot was fast enough to play roadblock on some races and on other he got the order to let Ham go. RAI was so slow so VET was under pressure from both Merc with little or no help from Rai. I include Monza where was sooooo obvious he should let VET go when they messed up saturday with who should get tow or not.

      1. I think that you are being very unfair in your dismissal of Kimi’s efforts. Strategy calls were invariably made to favour Seb, to the detriment of Kimi.

        1. I agree. Currently Kimi has more points (251) than Valtteri (237). That’s a fairly good indication that Kimi has been doing a better job than Valtteri. Also, Kimi has beaten Sebastian 9 times this season, while Valtteri has beaten Lewis 3 times. In 6 of the 9 times Kimi beat Sebastian there was at least one car between them, meaning Kimi was the one bringing home the lion’s share of the points on 6 occasions, not Sebastian.

          1. @drycrust

            Thats mostly due to big mistakes from Vettel however and not good drives from Kimi.

          2. @drycrust, in the latter half of this season, you could argue that Kimi has been the more consistent driver for Ferrari. Over the last ten races, Kimi has scored more points (135) than Vettel (131) and has the slightly higher average finishing position (3.22 versus 3.44).

            As for Bottas, his average finishing position is 3.7 over the past ten races and his points total is 133 points – exactly halfway between that of Kimi and Vettel. He’s generally been slightly more likely to be behind the two Ferrari’s and not in a position to really influence things on track – so I would agree that Kimi has generally performed stronger than Bottas.

            In some ways, when you look at the trend in points haul over the latter half of the season, it does emphasise that Vettel has underperformed compared to his performance in the first half of the season.

            Over the last ten races, Hamilton has scored 220 points, Verstappen 141, Kimi 135, Bottas 133 and Vettel 131: the difference from Verstappen to Vettel is small, but ultimately Hamilton, Verstappen, Kimi and Bottas have all scored more points in the latter half of this season compared to the first half.

            Out of the top six drivers, only two drivers have scored fewer points in the latter half of this season, which would be Ricciardo and Vettel. Ricciardo’s freakishly high 50% retirement rate explains his situation – really, it is just Vettel whose performance dipped, and by a fairly significant margin too (his points haul in the latter half of this season is only 77% of his points score in the first half).

  2. Arrivabene is in denial of the facts.

    1. @canuckfan He seems to be in denial of himself too:

      And then as Sebastian said yesterday he made mistakes then from Monza we were not there with the car, this is a fact too if you are talking about facts

      So he’s saying it was a combination of Vettel’s mistakes (after Monza, though presumably earlier too) which we apparently shouldn’t call mistakes, though he can, and Ferrari’s ‘non-mistake’ of upgrading the car with bits that made it worse. Hmm. Not very convincing.

      1. I don’t understand why Ferrari likes Vettel so much despite him ruining his campaign with mistakes. Do they still think he’s the next Schumacher? Don’t they dream of Alonso?

    2. It’s PR guys, I would hate to work for any team you were in charge of, if you think this is the time to list the reasons you didn’t win this year.

      Ferrari may be big enough to be the exception, but you treat your team better than that.

  3. I really do not understand.

    Arrivabene insisted it was “not correct” to blame mistakes for Ferrari’s defeats

    He then says-

    “And then as Sebastian said yesterday he made mistakes then from Monza we were not there with the car”

    Well, he used the M word there and admitted that the car was either less-than-perfect or developped incorrectly . . . both of which have to be mistakes, don’t they?
    I’m pleased that he’s not singling out anyone in particular for blame but if he adamantly refuses to accept that mistakes were made, what does he put their defeat down to – witchcraft?

    1. Well I guess he would put their defeat down to ‘facts’ not mistakes or witchcraft. I think I know what he means though. Is it a mistake if you make a change to the car that helps it, but someone else makes a change that works even better for their car? Did you make a mistake on your car, or is it a fact that you improved your car, just not as much as someone else? Or, at RBR Max made mistakes, DR had too much unreliability, but they also had success, and were likely always going to be third in the WCC due to the Renault Pu being down on power. Was it a mistake that RBR didn’t compete for the Championships, or just the facts? Fewer mistakes by Max, and better reliability for DR, were not going to make their pace competitive with Merc and Ferrari at the majority of the tracks.

      Anyway, just having a little fun trying to interpret MA’s meaning which I think is perhaps moreso just that the season is what it is and the fact is they weren’t good enough as a team. I can understand him not wanting to point fingers at any one person or factor. You do your best, stuff is always going to happen, and the results are quantified in the end.

      1. @robbie Hmm, not 100% convinced, maybe the real meanings got lost in translation. Do you think Arrivabene will still be there next season?

        1. @nickwyatt Fair enough. As to MA’s future, you are hitting on something that crossed my mind as I was texting my post above. It often occurs in all sports that when a team doesn’t win a Championship ie. loses it as a team, no one specific person or thing to blame, the sacrificial lamb is in the end one person, the coach or manager.

    2. Nick – agreed… They didn’t make mistakes but they made mistakes as a team… which is all I gleaned from his statements…
      They’re better off when they don’t give interviews…

  4. By my calculations if you took Kimi and Seb’s best result for each race over the season you get 370 points, which would put Seb in contention for the championship. Instead he is 81 points behind instead of 13. Ferrari had the car to win the title but both Seb and the team made mistakes. If they can’t admit that, they will not learn anything for next season.

    1. I think they can admit that, but just aren’t going to dwell on it nor point fingers. That would only create hard feelings. Imagine if all teams that didn’t win the Championship, in any sport not just racing, sat their dwelling on what they coulda, woulda, shoulda, done differently? How long would they go beating themselves up before they have to just let it go and say it is what it is? Answer: not long. You can’t change what has already happened, so be sad, glad, mad or what have you, but not for long, and then as you say, learn from it.

    2. Is it a mistake if one contender needs to drive at the limit or over the limit continuously, while the other can cruise along until the odds are in his favour?
      Of course, things happened, like Vettel crashing out in Germany, while leading. But at that moment, Hamilton was on fresh softer slicks and closing very fast. Should Vettel have gone for second in Germany? In hindsight, yes, but at a few meters before crashing out the equation was different.
      If Vettel chose to be more coservative in all races, he might have been closer to Kimi’s point tally instead of closer to Hamiltons.

  5. who cares who made mistake or not. Everyone makes mistakes but the fact is Mercedes had a better package this year (machine, drivers, strategy, etc).

    1. The ones who seek to improve cares.

  6. It’s math’s fault: Hamilton summed up more points.

    1. I blame the origin of the universe.

      1. Vettel’s points were Metric and Hamilton’s points were Imperial. It’s not fair to compare them like-for-like.

  7. This team lost title by gambling on a person who loves brainfarts not once but 2 years in a row. Funnily Marchionne bootlicked this driver even when car was used as a weapon.

  8. Yes, you did.

  9. So, to repeat my content from today’s round-up, today is a day of denial.

    Someone please tell them that the Nile is a river in Egypt, not Abu Dhabi.

  10. He should learn from U.S. politicians and CEOs and simply state, “Mistakes Were Made.” The passive voice both absolves individuals and admits the obvious, suitably satisfying no one.

    1. I think politicians across the world use that method to absolve them of wrongdoings and shift focus somewhere else.

  11. The more they say it the less I believed them. Vettel’s mistakes are a fact, there’s nothing to discuss about it, they happened and it costed him a bucket load of points. And Ferrari isn’t free of guilt either. Together they had the tools to fight for the championship at least until the final round. Instead it was over with two rounds to go, but realistically it was over way before that.

  12. Just words. Everyone knows what happened.

    1. @john-h

      Exactly! We all saw the season. It’s not like Mauricio’s words of PR wisdom change anything

  13. Mercedes have been close to perfection the last 2 years, to beat them requires total perfection in every area of the team.

    1. Hardly the truth. They are getting dangerously close to a team that runs gp2 engines.

  14. Ferrari as a team did make mistakes….and Arrivabene should learn a big big lesson and take responsibility as the person in charge….Toto I am sure would..
    There was some footage of Vettel today in the practices….I thought he looked like a man under pressure ( I know its the end of the season ) and most certainly not happy….he will not be staying long term

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