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Japanese supplier NGK blamed for Vettel failure

  • Published on 09 Oct 2017 14:36
  • comments 9
  • By: Rob Veenstra

Fingers of blame are pointing at a team supplier, after Ferrari's 2017 title campaign turned into a Japanese nightmare. NGK, the supplier of spark plugs to the Italian team, is located just an hour from Suzuka. And on Sunday, it was a simple failed spark plug that led to Sebastian Vettel's retirement -- and almost certainly left the world championship in the hands of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.

"The world cup dream for Ferrari has been postponed until 2018," Corriere della Sera declared. Some are speculating that Ferrari's nightmare Asian tour could cost team boss Maurizio Arrivabene his job. But the Italian knows where to look for Sunday's failure. "Everybody saw what happened," said Arrivabene. "Do you see any mistake by the team?" He told Italian television Sky: "The car is good beyond the components that cost us. But we have to turn the page, keep motivated, do the analysis of what happened, and go to Austin, even if the points (deficit) to Mercedes is a lot."

German Vettel defended his team, saying reliability problems can be the price of pushing hard. If he doesn't finish at least fifth in Austin and Hamilton wins again, the championship chase will be over definitively. "I don't think you have to be a maths genius," said Vettel when asked if the title is slipping away. "But we still have a chance. It's just not in our hands as we would like it to be."

Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff was seen consoling Arrivabene on the Ferrari pitwall after Sunday's race. "I get on very well with Maurizio and they must all feel awful," he said. "Maybe it is the development slope of the team. They made a huge step forward from 2016 to 2017. Their car is super-fast, it just lacks reliability and that is the next step."

However, Wolff insisted it's not over until it's over, and his fellow Mercedes boss Niki Lauda agrees. "I feel sorry for Sebastian," said Lauda. "Thank God it's them and not us, but Ferrari need to look where these small mistakes come from and correct them. Sebastian has a big deficit, but I always say that as long as the title is not won or lost, it is not won or lost." (GMM)

Replies (9)

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  • So.. NGK to sponsor Lewis next season then? ;)

    • + 0
    • Oct 9 2017 - 14:57
  • NGK has a pretty good reputation, and supply a whole shyteload of teams in various racing series without this ever happening, so this is some legit bad luck. I swear, Vettel surely must be cursed.

    • + 0
    • Oct 9 2017 - 20:08
    • Savio

      Posts: 145

      I have NKG's spark plug in my little moped ;)

      • + 0
      • Oct 9 2017 - 22:22
    • kngrthr

      Posts: 203

      my mower won't even start without NKG.
      every 2 stroke works better on them in my experience.

      we cant really point the finger at them for a championship failure. how many races have been completed without even noticing the plugs?
      was it damaged during installation or the engine change? who knows?

      • + 0
      • Oct 10 2017 - 04:12
    • And I do only use NGK when my brain needs a kickstart!

      Yeah, could literally be anything.

      • + 0
      • Oct 10 2017 - 06:48
    • Must check what's on my chainsaw, thanks. Probably also check the Hon... I mean lawn mower!

      • + 0
      • Oct 10 2017 - 16:38
    • Sigh... Light... You have let me down... Of all the possible jokes you could make, you went with the most unoriginal one... Why?

      • + 0
      • Oct 10 2017 - 18:28
  • Barron

    Posts: 625

    I think someone is being miscievious here. No way is it fair to blame a whole company for one failed spark plug. To me, NGK are the best of the best, but even they can fail and do you know how? When screwing them in with the Snap-On plug adaptor, if the mechanic doesn’t go in square the tool can put pressure on the ceramic part. If a hair line crack develops there then the plug will short and either fire very weakly or fail to fire at all. It’s very common in racing circles when mechanics are in a rush and it’s pretty much the only way a plug can fail.No way can you blame NGK for that.

    • + 0
    • Oct 10 2017 - 12:59
    • f1ski

      Posts: 726

      A bad injector leading to a lean condition and burning up the plug. It was replaced and thats why it happened again?

      • + 0
      • Oct 12 2017 - 23:48

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