Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene has refused to speculate whether Sebastian Vettel's championship challenge could be further hampered by the consequences of Sunday's crash in the Russian Grand Prix.
The German was punted out of the Sochi event by Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat, who connected with the rear of the Ferrari twice in as many corners before Vettel was sent into the wall at turn three.
Kvyat claimed that he was caught out by the four-time world champion slowing unexpectedly after the onboard footage from the Ferrari showed Sergio Perez struggling with puncture directly ahead of it but it did little to placate either the German or Arrivabene.
With a DNS and first-lap DNF already to his name after only four races, Vettel has lost a lot of ground on championship leader Nico Rosberg and currently sits 67 points adrift of his countryman.
Already facing an uphill task to win a fifth title given the potency of the Mercedes, Vettel's cause was not helped in Russia by a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change that was a belated consequence of his contact with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in the Chinese Grand Prix – another incident Vettel blamed on Kvyat – and Arrivabene would not rule out a repeat as the series heads to Barcelona next weekend.
“At the moment, I don't know,” he said, when asked whether he feared any further repercussions from Russia, “The car is coming back and we will check. The crash was quite hard, especially from the back of the car but, like last time, until we have the car at home and we are inspecting the car, you can't say anything. Yes, the car looks damaged, but it depends where he crashed.”
Vettel showed in Sochi qualifying that he has the pace to fight for the first couple of rows, but his eventual second place in Q3 – admittedly aided by Lewis Hamilton's absence – became seventh on the grid due to the penalty.