Former Ferrari test driver Luciano Burti had his say on Ferrari’s unsuccessful 2018 campaign, drawing a comparison between the outfit he worked with under the guidance of Jean Todt and the current team set-up. The Sao Paulo-born driver also slams Arrivabene for being ‘not sympathetic’, suggesting that he may be unfit for the role he has been handed.
One of the hottest talking points of the past year was Vettel’s mindset once he came to deal with his mistakes and the defeated attitude of Ferrari, as Marchionne’s death turned it into a headless statue. The whole team felt lost and the pressure was high, which undoubtedly led to more bitter losses.
“It was a really tiny mistake, which happens, and he was unlucky it happened in the wrong time and the wrong place and had a big consequence. From then on, I really think that someone like Jean Todt would give him good feedback” as motorsport.com reports.
“I think Vettel felt maybe on his own to fight back from his mistake. Once you have that pressure, if you say as a racing driver ‘I cannot make a mistake on the next lap or the next corner’, you make a mistake. Once I think about it, that’s it. I think that’s what happened to him. Although he’s a great champion, he’s too human and when you have those feelings it doesn’t do you any good.”
“He was on his own and someone like Jean would have made the difference to put him back on track, because it’s not normal to see a four-times champion to make so many mistakes, and silly mistakes sometimes.”
“Maybe Ferrari lost a little bit the leadership that Jean used to give,” said Burti.
Therefore, Burti points the finger at Ferrari and its inability to loosen the grip of Vettel’s pressure, since the German is known to lack self-control and stability. His overemotional character marred his title chances, yet the team failed to provide him with the adequate support to tackle his personal issues.
Moreover, Burti casts a mention to former Ferrari team principal Domenicali, whose departure deeply stirred and affected the efficiency of the Maranello-based squad. The big shoes he left to fill are still empty according to the Brazilian racing driver, who strongly criticised Arrivabene’s controversial character.
“I worked with Stefano Domenicali he was a really good guy, I don’t know what the team was when he was team principal but after he left Ferrari never got the rhythm that it used to."
“I know a little bit about Arrivabene when I was there because he was with Philip Morris and he wasn’t, in my view, a good leader because he was not sympathetic, he was always very distant from us and I never got the understanding why."
We have previously gone over Arrivabene’s role and his cantankerousness, which came to light over the last year on numerous occasions. Burti’s remarks enhance the lack of guidance Ferrari has experienced with Arrivabene, who appeared worryingly detached, although being in charge of a team requires exactly the opposite. Hence, he will need to work on this point for the upcoming season, in order to prove himself as a leader. The 2019 season will be a make-it-or-break-it opportunity for the Italian, who is entering his fifth full season as team principal, the first one with a different line-up to manage.