Bernie Ecclestone believes Ferrari's faults remain solely with the team and car development rather than its drivers but backs Sebastian Vettel to succeed at the Scuderia.

After an impressive first year at Ferrari, when Vettel recorded three race wins as the sole contender against the Mercedes dominance in 2015, the Italian team slipped back in the F1 pecking order having seen Red Bull finish ahead of them in the 2016 world constructors' championship while Vettel endured a winless campaign.

Ecclestone, who has recently spoken out on the current British Grand Prix situation, feels Ferrari are reverting to a set-up similar to its underachieving era in the early 1990s before the arrival Michael Schumacher and Jean Todt.

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The F1 supremo says 'too many Italians' is hurting Ferrari's ambitions and feels it needs a rethink of its design and management structure, but backs Vettel to succeed with the right support and a competitive car from the Italian manufacturer.

"It's not his [Vettel's] fault that he does not win, it's the car and the team. Ferrari has fallen back into the time before Schumacher and Todt," Ecclestone told Auto Bild. "There are too many Italians working there. Nothing against Italy, but running a team successfully is not anchored in their DNA.

"Ferrari needs fresh blood. But I'm sure Sebastian is doing everything in his power to be successful. The question is how much they can do it."

Ecclestone will oversee F1 heading into an intriguing 2017 campaign headlines by the aerodynamic regulations revamp, wider and fatter tyres from Pirelli and a new driver at Mercedes after Nico Rosberg's shock retirement days after clinching last year's F1 world drivers' title.

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Vettel has been strongly linked to a switch to Mercedes in 2018 if he suffers another difficult season at Ferrari but Ecclestone believes the four-time F1 world champion will remain at the iconic Italian outfit until he emulates his hero Schumacher.

"Sebastian's mission is called Ferrari, just as I know him, he wants to do it first," Ecclestone said.

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