Maurizio Arrivabene thinks the Scuderia is definitely on the up and that the work put in is starting to pay off, even though the team missed out on victory in the Canadian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Vettel finished just 5 seconds behind race winner Lewis Hamilton, and while Arrivabene conceded the strategy adopted was probably the “wrong one”
, he was nevertheless very encouraged by the performance of the German and the speed of the SF16-H.
“I was really happy with the start of Sebastian [jumping from third to first into Turn 1] because I think it was one of the greatest starts that I have ever seen in Formula One,” said Arrivabene.
“I was really happy and we pushed hard and I think the work that we started straight after Monaco, starts to pay off. We understand better the car and we are working during the race weekend in a way that we are able to find the right balance. This is going to pay off because I think the grand prix was an interesting race. Saturday too, [but] we have to do more and more and more, I think.
"We need to continue like this and be positive and be positive and be positive. Of course when you sniff the victory that is nearby you, you get a bit nervous or disappointed straight after the race because it has happened to me [and we didn't get it]. But I think the team was doing a great job this weekend, I have to say.
“I am happy.”
Arrivabene also stressed, however, that more work and more progress is needed to beat Mercedes.
“I think humility first because we have to be conscious of where we are,” he replied, when asked about his feelings for the next few races.
“But I think also the team reacted very, very well [after Monaco] and we start to understand clearly how to find the right balance of the car and to work with it and I think the gap that we had on Saturday and on race day from Mercedes, it is short, but it is not enough. We need to work more to be able to win.
“We will improve the cars, but [so far it is] not enough. We need to [improve], because Mercedes is in front of us.
“It is not a question to be on the same level as Mercedes [either]. You have to win and when you are winning then you can say, 'I am at the same level', because the others then have to match you. We will see now - but what is clear is we have to continue on this way."