Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene has defended the tyre decision that turned Sebastian Vettel’s lead into the Australian GP into a third place.
When teams had a free choice of tires at the red flag the Ferraris stuck with supersofts, while the two Mercedes drivers restarted with mediums. They didn’t need to stop again, and when Vettel pitted, he dropped back. He was unable to recover to higher than third.
“On the wall we were confident, in all honesty,” said Arrivabene. “So we were looking at the race. We looked at the gap we were gaining and at that time the radio was to go with our strategy and to keep going. Then, I don’t want to take any excuses. The red flag – the last one was in 2009 if I am not wrong, but it is part of the race so you have to accept it and that is it.
“At that stage of the race we have to be a bit more aggressive. It could be right, could be wrong. Sebastian was talking about that. In the end we were pushing like hell and Sebastian also had the chance to be able to overtake Hamilton, that was in our strategy. If you want to look at the glass not half empty – we were there. But this is the news. Of course after that, you cannot be happy after this but this is racing.”
Nevertheless he admitted it was a race lost: “Yeah. We lost… the race if you look, it is in front of everybody that we were showing a very, very good pace. We were quite comfortable and after the red flag, we took a decision. A certain decision that can be right or wrong. But…”
He remains optimistic about the season.
“The pace in the race is very good. The car is very good. So, this is what I have to say. But we don’t have to give up. We need to continue to push because every race has their own story. You have to turn the page and look forward and think about the next one thinking to do not what you have done today but to do even better for Bahrain.
“The start was super. I have to say both of the drivers, they start like two rockets and after that they were able to take an advantage, and that was good for us. This is the reason why at a certain point we were looking at the gap, looking at our strategy prediction and looking quite comfortable. But at the end of the day you have to look at the result of the race, not the provision. We have to be realistic.”