After an upturn in performance in Japan, Ferrari struggled to keep the roll going in the United States – Kimi Raikkonen retired after a pit stop error, while Sebastian Vettel came home a somewhat distant fourth. As team principal Maurizio Arrivabene admits, luck wasn’t on their side – but in his opinion Austin was never likely to play into the Scuderia’s hands…[Raikkonen’s retirement] was simply unfortunate – that is all
Q: Maurizio, what did you make of the performance in Austin compared to the last race in Suzuka?
Maurizio Arrivabene: This is a high-downforce track and not comparable to Suzuka. In Suzuka we made some steps, but we knew that coming here it would not be so easy. But in reality Sunday was not so bad compared to Friday or Saturday. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the most of our race.
Q: Was Raikkonen’s pit stop a failure in the system or a human error?
MA: We had a problem with a nut – and that was it basically for Kimi.
Q: Kimi was given the green light to go although the wheel was not properly attached. Do you need to review the system you have in place?
MA: It has nothing to do with the system. It was simply unfortunate. That is all.
Q: Coming back to the overall car performance. This track is not the only high-downforce track. In Singapore you were pretty competitive – so why not here? What’s the difference?
MA: Well, obviously we knew that this track is not really preferable for us. We knew that. But you have to look at the overall situation: if you want to solve problems this year you are losing time for next year.
We have been concentrating on high-performance circuits like Suzuka – as in this case you take parts that give you data for next year
This is why we have been concentrating on high-performance circuits like Suzuka – as in this case you take parts that give you data for next year. At this stage of the championship anything else would not make any sense.
Q: Is it correct then to interpret from what you’ve just said that you have worked on your problems with high downforce completely for next year?
Q: What about your reliability issue? What happened to Seb’s car towards the end of the race?
MA: No reliability issue. He had a piece of rubber on the rear wing. Seb said that it is not so easy to drive with this issue. And looking at the gap that he had to the car behind we told him to come in – a