Ryan Wood  |    |   0  |  6 November 2017

Driver error also contributed to title defeat - Ferrari

Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne doesn't put the team's title defeat down to reliability entirely, but says driver error also contributed to their downfall this season as Mercedes romped to a fourth Constructors' Championship whilst Lewis Hamilton took the Drivers' title.

The Italian outfit led for the first half of the season as Sebastian Vettel finished either first or second in each of the opening six races to open a commanding championship lead. Hamilton fought back in the second half and closed that gap before a string of disasters struck Ferrari.

Poor reliability cost the team potential wins in Malaysia and Japan, but Marchionne says driver mistakes cannot be ignored, referring to Vettel's Singapore start line crash which also took his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen out of the race, allowing Hamilton to win with Valtteri Bottas third, therefore costing Ferrari 40 points.

"I don't believe in bad luck," Marchionne said. "Ultimately it's a reflection on the way in which we manage the businesses. It was a combination, especially in the second half of the season, between technical issues and driver error – or driver misjudgement."

But Marchionne is confident they can start the 2018 season in the same way they began 2017 and maintain that level throughout the entire season after addressing their "structural weaknesses".

"The second half revealed some structural weaknesses in the manner in which we are managing the business, which are going to get rectified and hopefully in 2018 will be a much better season.

"If I had asked anybody at this time last year as to how well we would have done in 2017, I couldn't have got a buyer for the idea that we would be that far advanced in the first half of the season.

"So, we have done well given our starting point, [but] we were unable to finish the task. It's a 2018 objective now. We regret not having done better, but the car is there – it's in my view the best car on the track today."

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