Friday, 23 november 2018, 10:57 , by Martin Macdonald
Ferrari chief Maurizio Arrivabene took umbrage with questions posed to him at the team boss press conference for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Friday, rhetorically asking a journalist if he should fire Sebastian Vettel due to Prancing Horse's struggles this year.
The Italian outfit started 2018 strongly, regularly competing for race wins alongside Mercedes, but since the summer break the Silver Arrows have sped ahead, taking advantage of Ferrari's downturn in form to win the constructors' championship as well as the drivers' title through Lewis Hamilton.
Arrivabene found himself in the firing line at the press conference in Abu Dhabi when asked by BBC journalist Andrew Benson why he claimed the title race went to the wire when this was, in the opinion of Benson, not the case, due to the underperformance of Vettel.
The Italian replied with, simply: "That is your opinion"
Benson, unsatisfied with the response, said: "No, it’s fact, you can look at the championship and see how it happened. I can go through the races with you afterwards if you want, but, the point…"
The Ferrari boss interjected, asking Benson what he would have him do to rectify the situation, to which the BBC journalist asked him to reply with what his plan of action was to make sure Mercedes do not pull ahead again next year.
"What you want me to do? To fire him?" Arrivabene said of Vettel.
"I give you an answer, I give you an answer, having said that what you said is not correct because we started the season in very good shape and then as Sebastian said yesterday, he made mistake, then from Monza onwards we were not there with the car and this is a fact, too, if you’re talking about facts.
"I don’t want to point the finger at the team or on the driver. If we are losing, we are losing together. If we are winning, we are winning together. And that’s it."