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Arrivabene: Ferrari has to 'be better' to beat Mercedes

Maurizio Arrivabene (ITA) Ferrari Team Principal
© XPB 

Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene has said his team must find a way to improve its performance this year.

Despite enjoying its most successful season in recent years, Ferrari ended 2017 disappointed to miss out to Mercedes in both world championships.

Ferrari led both the drivers and constructors standings after the Monaco Grand Prix in May. But a slump in form after the summer break, including a number of driver errors and reliability problems, derailed the scuderia's campaign.

"I have to say congratulations to Mercedes," said Arrivabene. "They won and they deserved the drivers' and constructors' championships. For 2018 we try to do our best to be better."

Arrivabene said that the team would learn the lessons from what happened in 2017. Eschewing a metaphor involving wine - "I don't like wine" - he instead summarised last year by comparing it with a glass of water.

"Mid-season we were thirsty," he said. "And end of season we were using the water because we take a pill because we have a bit of headache. And that's the summary of the season."

However, Arrivabene also took a lot of positives from how the team had performed under pressure.

"I think the team was pushing, really hard," he insisted. "They were working well. [But] we have certain circumstances that they were not in our favour."

While Sebastian Vettel fought hard all season and picked up five victories during the season, his team mate Kimi Raikkonen was winless for the year. Even so, Ferrari decided to extend the Finn's stay at Maranello for another season.

Arrivabene said that the pressure was now on Raikkonen to deliver on the team's show of faith in his abilities.

"Sometimes it could be in terms of perception or because maybe other drivers are crashing on his car," Arrivabene said. "[But] the final reality is the points you are scoring and this is what is making a driver good or bad."

He poured cold water on suggestions that Raikkonen had simply been unlucky not to score bigger in 2017.

"I don't trust on luck or not luck, even if I'm Italian," he said. "I trust on fact, and fact means points. Bad luck or good luck is not influencing this.

"We are happy about the performance of Kimi by the way," he added. "Otherwise we wouldn't be confirming him [for a further season]."

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