Though it would be a little tacky to openly celebrate, Ferrari’s Maurizio Arrivabene admits that the notorious Mercedes collision was exactly the sacrifice needed for their survival.
When you realise Hamilton & Rosberg are both out of the Spanish Grand Prix after colliding on the first lap… pic.twitter.com/3qL3Hz3DoH
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While the historic clash between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg drew eyes away from the race itself, Ferrari and Red Bull locked horns in a life-or-death battle to the finish line. We all know who came out tops in that particular skirmish, but Arrivabene admits that things would have been so much worse if Mercedes hadn’t taken itself out.
“Obviously well done to Max. I mean due to the poor qualifying yesterday we found ourselves in a situation today which is quite difficult and we lose an opportunity to win a race. I’m not looking at Red Bull and to Max — and I’m happy for him — I’m looking at the reality. If Mercedes was not going out we were again in trouble. So it’s there were we have to point our attention.”
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Although Kimi Raikkonen ended up finishing in second place to Verstappen, Ferrari had a notable Achilles heel that popped up towards the end of the race. Their drivers experienced significantly reduced speeds during the turns and lost a lot of valuable time to their Red Bull competitors, despite implementing the exact same strategies. This was evidently the reason star racer Sebastian Vettel was unable to cinch the victory for them.
“I mean if you reverse the strategy most probably Sebastian was in the same position as Kimi. I don’t think it’s the strategy, the problem is as in happened [in qualifying] we were not good enough in the last part of the track, in the slow corners.
“We saw Kimi, even when the car was sliding a bit was able to catch up immediately. As soon as he was in the last part of the track the [Red Bull] was pulling away. He was able to catch again by the end of the straight. It’s not a question of strategy, it’s a question of like qualifying, we were very, very slow in the last part of the track.”
But in spite of all these obstacles, gaining second place to Max Verstappen is not for slouches and Arrivabene admits Raikkonen did admirably in that regard. He’s also second in the championship ahead of Lewis Hamilton. He may not have navigated the downturns as well as he could have, but Raikkonen knew how to seize an opening when it appeared and that made all the difference.