Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene admitted that victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix was not on the Scuderia's radar, especially at the start of the weekend in Budapest.
Sebastian Vettel led from lights to flag to claim the team's second F1 win of the season, following on from his maiden Ferrari success back in Malaysia, and the team could have had a 1-2 had Kimi Raikkonen not run into mechanical problems, but Arrivabene insisted that, even after qualifying, he expected to be in the running for points rather than prizes.
“On Friday, we were struggling a lot and, at one stage, James Allison said to me 'If I have to think of the worst day of my career, then today is the worst!',” Arrivabene said, “But we put together everything. We were working with determination and this is something that tells you everything about a team that is getting together better and better and better.
“They were using the FP3 to try to adjust the car and, after that, on Saturday evening we thought, 'okay, we are in a better way'. We were not at all thinking about this result, but at least thinking we are in a good way. You have to explain this to somebody because, for a month until last week, they were talking about us as a disaster. Most probably they are not able to read the numbers, or they don't want to read the numbers.
“Before Friday, we had our data and we were reading the data and we thought it could be a good race. Of course, we were not thinking of winning the race, but at least to fight. Then everything happened on Friday and, before Saturday, the first thought was 'guys, calm down' because we need to put all our analysis together and the engineers started to give a straightforward indication of where we are.
“We thought, 'okay, we have to see the reality as where it is and we have FP3 to work on the car'. We were working on a certain solution and then, at the end, we have a good pace during the race. It's also true that when you start, as we did today, in the open air, the car is giving to you more chance. The guys behind have a high consumption of the tyres, but today we were in front and the consumption was okay.”
Vettel's victory takes Ferrari to Arrivabene's pre-season target of two wins against the Mercedes juggernaut, but the team boss insists that there is still a lot of work to do, especially as the Silver Arrows imploded in their pursuit of the German.
“Yes, we have two victories, but we have to keep our feet on the ground and work hard, as has happened this weekend,” Arrivabene confirmed, before insisting that he had not felt any pressure to add a second win despite the increasing gap back to the first, “You don't know me. You see these shoulders here, they are very large. I don't feel a lot of pressure because I said since the beginning that our objective was to win two races, three would be paradise and four blah, blah, blah … the usual story.
“It's not a question of pressure. The question is that we rushed, and it's not from yesterday because it's happened many times in F1 that a team is rushing and then you have a pause and then hopefully you rush again. This is the story of the championship, more or less. All the teams they are doing the same. Of course, Mercedes are strong everywhere, but we are expecting to have good races and bad races over the course of this season. That doesn't mean we are stepping back, because you have to consider that sometimes the others are going up. So you have to catch again and then we need to do our job. So, in general, I have to say, the direction we took is good and we have nine races to go. During these nine races, you will hopefully see races like this one and others like Silverstone or Spain.
“Sometimes, when you are talking in a very straightforward and honest way, they say that it can't be true. But for people who know F1, they know it is more or less like this. Even the best team, the team that is at the top, sometimes they have a fail and then they go up again, but it doesn't mean they are stepping back. That means we have to wait for different tracks and different tyres. I am dreaming for the day we can make our own choice about tyres - then F1 is going to be a bit more interesting!”