Maurizio Arrivabene says Ferrari is 'in trouble' if it cannot make the most of its chance to win in the wake of a double Mercedes DNF after being defeated by Red Bull's Max Verstappen in the Spanish Grand Prix.
Having been left baffled by a relative lack of pace in qualifying, placing Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel fifth and sixth on the grid, Ferrari would nonetheless be installed as favourites to win when Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg collided on the opening lap.
Indeed, though Red Bull held down a 1-2 early on, Ferrari – particularly Vettel – had the faster car in clear air, but with the German unable to make a three-stop strategy count, Raikkonen then couldn't get enough momentum to deny Verstappen ahead.
Blaming the SF16-H's lack of pace in the slow final sector for being unable to then follow close enough into the long home straight, Arrivabene admits he is concerned Ferrari's failure to beat Red Bull in Spain is a poor indication of its chances to keep up with Mercedes.
“I'm not looking at Red Bull and to Max - and I'm happy for him - I'm looking at the reality. If Mercedes was not going out we were again in trouble. So it's there where we have to point our attention,” he explained.
“If you reverse the strategy most probably Sebastian was in the same position as Kimi. I don't think it's the strategy, the problem is as it happened we were not good enough in the last part of the track, in the slow corners. We saw Kimi, even when the car was sliding a bit was able to catch up immediately.
“As soon as he was in the last part of the track the Red Bull was [pulling away]. He was able to catch again by the end of the straight. It's not a question of strategy, we were very, very slow in the last part of the track.”