Vettel denies Ferrari will make changes this week
Sebastian Vettel has denied that Ferrari will make major organisational changes this week in response to two lacklustre grands prix in a row.
President Sergio Marchionne said at an event in Italy on Monday that “We are intervening and we are working on it,” and declared that either Ferrari could have won each of the Malaysian and Singapore grands prix.
He went on to say, “Now we’re working on the quality department and making some organisational changes.
“Having this kind of problem during the race make us angry.”
Engine problems in Malaysia meant that Vettel had to start rear of grid and Kimi Raikkonen did not start at all.
A fortnight earlier in Singapore, both were taken out on the Lap 1 after a three-car collision at the first corner.
Vettel is now 34 points adrift of Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship while Ferrari trails Mercedes by 118 in the constructors’ standings.
When Marchionne’s comments were put to Vettel, the German responded, “I heard that as well, not from him, but from the press so I’m not sure it’s put in the right context.
“But what happens on track, happens on track. The thing that happened in Singapore, I don’t think you can take much action.
“We had a problem in Malaysia that stopped myself and Kimi.
“So it is normal you try to understand things and it’s normal we have a shift in people.
“But knowing what is going on internally, there is no panic, no big plans as a reaction.
“Maybe it is more a coincidence of events with the interview, but as far as I know nothing big happens.”
Ferrari believes the engine problem Vettel and Raikkonen suffered in Malaysia is similar and while it has found a way to manage it for Japan, investigations are continuing.
Vettel said, “We have a good understanding (of the problem) but it is still ongoing to try and understand the picture completely.
“It’s only been a couple of days, so parts went back to understand and get a full picture but I’m pretty sure here shouldn’t be an issue.”
Raikkonen added, “It’s been understood what failed, and obviously it’s been fixed.
“Nobody can promise that it won’t happen again, but I really doubt that it will happen again.”
Vettel said he is “quite happy everything is okay” with his gearbox, after Ferrari analysis showed it was not damaged in his crash with Lance Stroll after the chequered flag in Malaysia.
“We’ll have to wait until we’re back in the car (with that gearbox), which will be on Saturday,” he added, “but it should be fine from what I heard.”
The Japanese Grand Prix weekend begins today.