Earlier this week I already wrote an article finding that something in Ferrari’s tyre selecton logic was wrong, and again, as many times before this year, I got the confirmation that the pressure in the team is the cause of major mistakes causing bigger and bigger gap in the championship.
Maurizio Arrivabene said earlier this week:
“The guys, they are responsible for the different areas, they could think ‘OK, if he’s pointing the finger at Sebastian, next time it’s my turn.’ It’s not what I want.
“The only mistake you see in front of you is me. I’m responsible for the team.
“When the result is not coming, it’s my responsibility. Not the responsibility of Sebastian or the engineer or the responsibility of the mechanics. It’s my responsibility. If you want somebody to blame, he’s in front of you.”
But I’ll start with the bright points first, and the absolutely brightest was Fernando Alonso. I didn’t hear him complaining on the radio, but I saw him racing as we know he can. In such a disappointing McLaren, he is only a handful of points behind Hulkenberg in the championship and that says it all. I know, many were expecting podiums and victories, but it was a bit exaggerated, as we all know now. But I still prefer such Fernando than the funny speaking but slow one. He was on the right strategy and did a great race. Behind him, I saw Charles Leclerc, which race was solid for a newcomer, but with Ericcson so close behind, is, in my opinion, for a new Ferrari member, simply not enough. I’m expecting more, especially compared to Max Verstappen.
Max was very mature when Vettel overtook him, did not lose his nerves, together with the team he solved the problems on the car, strategically overtook Ferrari, he was close to surprising even Hamilton and his second place was fully deserved. Let’s be honest about Hamilton, who threatened his leadership, except Grosjean, of course? At that moment he showed his talent, but for the remaining of the race he essentially controlled the situation and achieved the maximum. Williams’ slow pace was visible on the track, but it’s always better than the almost invisible Haas or Toro Rosso, and let’s admit that Perez has at least gave us a bit of action. In my opinion that’s far more interesting than Bottas race, who was not able to pass Hulkenberg. I know, not everyone is gifted.
But let’s go back to Ferrari, there was an obvious lack of soft tyres in their choice. Each driver had only one set, but despite the fact that Vettel stopped first, he went for ultras, Räikkönen, who was called later in got softs. Not only that, those were the first laps for Räikkönen on Soft tire this weekend, but it’s clear to everyone that it would be more normal to give Vettel softs and Räikkönen Ultras, or avoid the Ultrasoft tire at all. At least that would make some sense. Let’s be aware that Vettel was forty seconds behind, that’s a disaster no matter he finished third or twentieth. That means he lost 0,8 of a second on average every lap. Well nothing to blame on Vettel this time, it’s a big fault of the team. Today, Sebastian has done everything that he could without errors but the results were so much under expectations. Strategically speaking, it is clear that the teams sacrificed both Ricciardo and Räikkönen, who were on the first stint for too long, but this is racing. They are both not in the graces of the respective teams and the teams needed them just in case something happened like rain or an unexpected safety car. But Vettel was there to fight with Hamilton, but that never happened.
In brief, my predictions have been confirmed. Ferrari came to Singapore wishing to get a victory, but they compromised everything with bad decisions. Ferrari has not limited any damage, this is just a narrow minded excuse. Their points disadvantage grown considerably and I think is time that those who call themselves responsable (Arrivabene, Clear, Binotto)to pay for such errors. Simply they can’t win the championship like that, especially if they have such a good car like anyone says around.