Sergio Marchionne says Ferrari "deserves" to keep charging for the 2016 world championship. That is despite the fact Sebastian Vettel, widely regarded as Maranello's lead driver, is already a whopping 67 points behind Mercedes' Nico Rosberg.
Ferrari and Fiat president Marchionne famously set Ferrari the target of winning immediately in 2016, but all four races so far have been won by Rosberg. "The drivers' title? I think we deserve it," the Italian, at the launch of the 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, is quoted by La Repubblica. "Not because we are smarter, but simply as a reflection of the work we did in 2015," Marchionne added.
"The most important thing now is to keep working," he said. "So far we have shown in at least three of the four races that we have the ability to be winners. Unfortunately due to mistakes, misfortune or other things, we did not succeed. But we have had four grands prix, and 17 remain. It's still open," Marchionne insisted.
"Sochi was the most difficult for us. We needed an engine really at maximum power. If we had got out in front of Mercedes they would have had a hard time to pass us, especially if it had been Vettel at the front," he said.
Finally, Marchionne was asked about Red Bull's decision to demote Daniil Kvyat, after two consecutive run-ins with Vettel in China and Sochi. "I don't want to judge the decisions of one of our competitors," he said.
"It (Sochi) was an unfortunate accident and I think Kvyat apologised to Seb. For me the issue is closed. If he will have consequences in terms of the regulations, it is up to the FIA to decide," added Marchionne. (GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing