Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene believes that two mistakes by Sebastian Vettel cost the Italian marque a double podium finish at yesterday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Arrivabene was sure that the German driver could have followed teammate Kimi Raikkonen past Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg and into the top three.
Vettel went in search of his second win of the season in Bahrain on Sunday, but found himself embroiled in a battle with Rosberg over second place throughout the race.
When trying to defend the position after making his final pit stop, Vettel ran wide at the final corner and across the kerbs, sustaining damage to his front wing.
This forced Ferrari into making an unscheduled third stop, dropping Vettel to fifth on track where he would ultimately finish the race.
Speaking after the race, Arrivabene lamented this mistake and claimed that Vettel made another early on, scuppering Ferrari’s hopes of a double podium finish.
“Sebastian made a couple of mistakes today, one at the beginning, which forced us to change his race strategy, whereas in the case of Kimi we followed our plans,” Arrivabene said.
“He actually made something wrong, otherwise we could have had two drivers on the rostrum, but he’s a human being as we all are.”
Raikkonen managed to maintain Ferrari’s 100% podium record in 2015, though, scoring his first top three finish since the 2013 Korean Grand Prix – 26 races ago.
“I am really happy for Kimi,” Arrivabene said. “Today I can officially state that he’s back. He showed what a race animal he is, and if he had had a few more laps perhaps…” – suggesting he may have won the race due to Lewis Hamilton’s brake issue.
“He was not totally convinced about [the strategy] at a point, but showed a great deal of discipline in following instructions from the pit wall.
“I can’t tell if we are going to catch the Mercedes, but I do like the idea of putting some pressure on them. Today we were aware of the gap between them and ourselves, and that required an aggressive strategy.
“Having said that, with regard to the Friday long runs where we had showed a good pace, the temperature was much lower today, and we had to react accordingly.”