Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene says that something was missing from Ferrari throughout the weekend in Sochi. The Italian squad was dominated by rivals Mercedes, and never looked close to challenging them during qualifying.
Sebastian Vettel managed to get ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the race during the pit stop phase, but it wasn't long before Hamilton used his car with superior pace to re-pass the German. Vettel had to settle for third, while Mercedes went on to bring home a one-two finish.
Speaking about Ferrari's pace over the weekend, Arrivabene said: “Right from Friday, the Sochi weekend was rather a difficult one for us,” said Arrivabene. “Despite all our efforts to find the ideal set-up, neither on Saturday nor in the race were we competitive enough to worry our closest rivals."
Ferrari has not won a race since the Belgian Grand Prix, the first race that followed the end of the summer break. Arrivabene is more confident that Suzuka, which hosts the next round of the championship, will allow Ferrari to take a stronger challenge to Mercedes.
“Compared to the way we performed at other circuits, something was missing here and so we were unable to reduce the points gap. On paper, the next race in Japan should have very similar characteristics to the one at Silverstone, so in Suzuka, we will get a more precise indication as to the potential of our car.
“If it goes well, we will know that, despite the difficult situation in terms of the classification, we still have the right weapons with which to fight all the way to the very end.”
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing