Arrivabene dismisses need for ‘revolution’ at Ferrari after collapse

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Ferrari Formula 1 team principal Maurizio Arrivabene feels there is no need for a “revolution” at Maranello despite the recent collapse that has seen Mercedes close in on winning both championships in 2017.

Ferrari took to the overhauled technical regulations for 2017 well, boasting the fastest car in pre-season and through the opening stint of the year, with Sebastian Vettel enjoying a healthy lead in the drivers’ championship at one stage.

Recent reliability struggles and a failure to out-develop Mercedes has seen Ferrari collapse in the last two months. Its defeat in the constructors’ championship was confirmed last weekend in Austin, while Vettel is poised to lose out in the drivers’ title race to Lewis Hamilton at this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.

The recent dip in form has led to questions about Arrivabene’s future and the existing team structure in Ferrari, but the team boss does not believe there is any need for a drastic overhaul at Maranello.

“It’s a question sometimes of adjustment. It’s not a question of revolution, it’s a question of adjustment,” Arrivabene said.

“This year we paid a heavy fee for detail and I said we need to be a bit more focused on the processes. We need to be more focused in other areas but the good positive is that this is a team that is not giving up and it’s learning from mistakes.

“It’s a team that is fully committed, not only for next year but even for the next three races because as I’ve said many many times, we like to fight until the last lap, the last race, the last lap and the last turn.”

Both Vettel and Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne had offered their support to Arrivabene in recent weeks, but doubt remains over the long-term future of the team boss as Ferrari’s wait for a world title prepares to enter a second decade.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III