Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene says the team must “avoid distractions” if it wants to maintain its strong start to 2017 after winning the season opener in Australia.
Sebastian Vettel claimed Ferrari’s first win at Melbourne’s Albert Park since 2007 to justify excitement about the SFH70, which has been building since the start of pre-season testing. The pace of the car was hard to gauge earlier in the weekend, with an underwhelming Friday followed by qualifying, where Ferrari lost out on pole position but split the front two rows of the starting grid with Mercedes.
Vettel’s win justified the hype around Ferrari and was, as alluded to by CEO Sergio Marchionne, a long time coming for a team which failed to record a victory in 2016. Ferrari maintained the cautious mindset it’s had all season after the race, with engineering chief Jock Clear saying the team still does not know its true pace compared to Mercedes due to the way the race unfolded.
Arrivabene thinks Ferrari has to work hard not to get carried away about the result.
“This is only the first race of the championship: there are still 19 to go and we must maintain a high level of concentration at every grand prix, avoiding distractions and, already as from today, we are looking ahead to the next grand prix in China,” he said.
Arrivabene reckons the win highlights the work done behind the scenes at Maranello.
“[It was] a good result that could have been a great one if we’d managed to get Kimi [Raikkonen] on the podium too. When we launched the SF70H we referred to it as “Our Ferrari” and indeed the win reflects all the effort and hard work put in over the past few months, both in Maranello and at the track.
“As for Sebastian, he did a great job, as did the whole team in fact. It’s a shame that Kimi struggled in the early stages to get into the right rhythm. Our car went very well on track: it was well balanced and consistent performance from the tyres meant we were able to adopt an aggressive strategy.”