Maurizio Arrivabene says Ferrari 'touched the bottom' of its 2015 season as retirements for Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen signalled the first double DNF for Ferrari since 2006.
On a frustrating day for the Scuderia
, Vettel suffered a puncture on the opening lap, before a spin and a crash eventually saw him end the race in the barriers.
Raikkonen, meanwhile, was attempting to make up ground from his 19th place starting position when he got embroiled in a tussle with Valtteri Bottas, the pair coming together at turn five. With Raikkonen coming off worse this time – after Bottas did in their last clash in Russia -, he would retire with suspension failure.
Remarkably, the double exit marks the first non-finish for Ferrari for more than nine years when Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa retired from the 2006 Australian Grand Prix.
Despite the frustrating outcome, team principal Arrivabene says the torrid day does not overshadow an otherwise impressive year.
“During the course of this season we touched the sky, today we touched the bottom. This is a good lesson for all of us, preparing ourselves and the character of the team for next year.
“I don't want to blame Kimi in one way, I don't want to blame Seb in the other way. We don't have to excuse and they don't have to excuse, we are a team, so this is my answer.”
Having sided with Raikkonen following his controversial coming together with Bottas in Sochi – for which the former champion was given a post-race time penalty -, Arrivabene maintains both were simply racing incidents.
“They were racing incidents. It happened in Russia, it happened here, this is Formula One. The most important thing is that nobody has got injured and that is the most important thing, safety. Accidents are part of the show; I don't want to blame anybody.”