[F1 2017 NEWS] SEASON REVIEW: FERRARI

Ferrari failed in its goal this year to clinch either the drivers or constructors’ world championships, but there’s no doubt its challenge to Mercedes was a breath of fresh air after three years of Silver Arrows domination.

SOUNDBITE (English) CHASE CAREY,
CEO & CHAIRMAN, FORMULA 1:
“It's been a good year in that way, having Ferrari and Mercedes competing, having Sebastian and Lewis competing at the top.”

Ferrari launched its SF70H quietly this year, team principal Maurizio Arrivabene shying away from making bold predictions.

SOUNDBITE (English) MAURIZIO ARRIVABENE:
TEAM PRINCIPAL, FERRARI:
“Looking at the car I was thinking about the effort, the dedication, the professionalism and passion of all the people in Ferrari. That they put together to built up this car. The car is the result of a team effort. And I'm very very proud about this.”

But the squad emerged from pre-season testing with the two fastest times, and completed 956 laps – just 40 less than benchmark Mercedes.

Sebastian Vettel then took three wins from the first six races – but just two more from the next 14. Teammate Kimi Räikkönen lagged, with just seven podiums, his best a pair of second places.

… but a nightmare run through Asia hobbled Vettel’s campaign, including his startline crash in Singapore and spark plug failure in Japan.

SOUNDBITE (English) JENSON BUTTON,
2009 F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
“It's a shame that Ferrari have had the issues they've had the last couple of races and Sebastian obviously with the incident in Singapore because they've been quick - they've just made mistakes and sort of handed it more to Mercedes and Lewis.”

… while Vettel’s reputation was tarnished with his meltdown in Azerbaijan – where he deliberately bumped into race leader Lewis Hamilton, under the safety car, after he thought he’d been brake tested.

SOUNDBITE (English) SEBASTIAN VETTEL,
4-TIME F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
"The worst feeling I had after Baku I think, just because I sort of ruined the race with something unnecessary. So I struggled with that.”

It’s now up to the Prancing Horse to come back much stronger, to improve reliability, and reduce mistakes. But Vettel knows how tough it can be.

SOUNDBITE (English) SEBASTIAN VETTEL,
4-TIME F1 WORLD CHAMPION:
"You need a strong engine, you need a good car, good aerodynamics, so it's really a team effort trying to get the car to a good level.”