Bernie Ecclestone says Ferrari have cost Sebastian Vettel in his title fight with Lewis Hamilton, accusing the Scuderia of failing to give the German necessary "backing and support". Hamilton has surged towards a fifth title in the latter half of the season as Ferrari and Vettel have run into trouble on and off the track.
Ferrari have produced arguably the quickest car on the Formula 1 grid this year, however the team could not capitalise fully, spilling points in Germany, Hungary and Italy when entering as red-hot favourites.
An upgrade package for the Singapore GP badly backfired, hampering the team in Russia and Japan too before it was removed in the United States, where Kimi Raikkonen won.
Vettel has been guilty of errors at the wheel, but Ecclestone says Ferrari deserve the greater share of the blame.
"Sebastian did not have the backing and support of his team, while Lewis has the team 100 per cent behind him," Ecclestone told Bild am Sonntag.
"[Hamilton] does not have to worry about what Mercedes does. Everything is perfect with them.
"Ferrari could have done it but there's a lot of politics there and Sebastian didn't feel the backing he needed. I think he was alone."
Ecclestone believes Ferrari's troubles can be traced back to the sudden passing of Sergio Marchionne, who died in July – in the week of the Hungarian GP.
"I believe a lot wasn't the way it should have been after that," Ecclestone said.
"He was a strong, respected man and they missed that leadership greatly.
"Ferrari has to decide whether the current management is correct. I don't want to judge that."
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