Sergio Marchionne insists Ferrari's 2017 title charge is not over. That is despite the fact the partisan Italian press thinks Sebastian Vettel's campaign went up in smoke in Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.
"In three races, Maranello destroyed all the good that had been done in the first 13," said La Gazzetta dello Sport. La Repubblica added: "How could you lose the championship with such a fast car?""
But Ferrari president Marchionne says that despite Vettel's big points gap to Lewis Hamilton with just four races to go, Ferrari "will not give up". "The important thing is not to lose the confidence that brought us so far," he told Italian finance broadcaster Class CNBC.
"Without being arrogant I think Ferrari is at or beyond Mercedes' level today," Marchionne added. "I have immense confidence that in the next four races we will be able to close the gap to them."
He said Vettel's problem at Suzuka was a "59 euro spark plug that affected a car worth millions". "We need to renew our commitment to the quality of the components we use for F1," Marchionne added. "On at least three occasions it has had a devastating impact on the Scuderia's performance. We will fix it." "(GMM)
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing