Arrivabene to Ferrari: Don't give up on title yet
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has urged his staff not to give up in their belief that the team can still win the Formula 1 championship this year, despite its latest setback.
The Italian team's frustrating start to 2016 continued in Russia as Sebastian Vettel was forced out of the race on the first lap after being hit twice by Red Bull rival Daniil Kvyat.
That retirement meant dominant Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were able to further extend their advantage in the championship standings, with Vettel now 67 points adrift of the lead.
When asked by Motorsport.com if he feared that the team's much talked about title hopes were slipping away, Arrivabene said: "If I had to define the championship this year, we are not the kind of team that likes to win comfortably.
"We are looking for a big challenge and okay, what has happened, it is part of the racing story.
"We had a problem with the software with Sebastian [in Bahrain] and a turbo problem with Kimi [in Australia], but it was not bad luck: there is always a human mistake.
"But I prefer to have this sort of problem now, than to have it during the course of the season or later on. But we need to make sure that it doesn't happen again.
"The championship: we are not giving up. I don't want to the team to give up. We want to put all our energy in from now on.
"We have 17 races. So if we win 12, they can win the other five and then you can fight! But seriously: it is not over and we are not going to give up."
Arrivabene admitted that the performance advantage that Mercedes had in Sochi was not good to see, especially because Ferrari had brought engine and car upgrades for the weekend.
Outlining what his team was going to do to get its campaign back on track, he explained: “First of all, we don't have to make any more mistakes on our side.
“Second, I trust, really trust, that from now we can perform much better than what we were performing up until now.”
He added: “That is because of the characteristics of the tracks that are coming, and because of the tokens that we spent. They are going to help us more for Spain than we saw at the track in Russia.
“But of course the other ones are not sleeping and waiting for us.”
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