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Vettel plays down Arrivabene comments

NEWS STORY
08/10/2016

Sebastian Vettel has played down comments made by Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene.

Less than a week after a convincing 1-2 for Red Bull at Sepang which saw the Austrian team further consolidate its runner-up spot in the 2016 constructor standings, things took a turn for the worse for Ferrari when it appeared there was dissent in the Maranello camp.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, team boss Maurizio Arrivabene made it clear that Sebastian Vettel's future with the team is far from certain and that the German must focus on his driving.

His comments, which will have been relayed to him from company president Sergio Marchionne, are in reference to the belief that Vettel is trying to emulate his hero Michael Schumacher in rebuilding the team after years of relative failure.

Last weekend Vettel crashed out on the first lap in Malaysia, and while he denies claims that he is overdriving in frustration, the Italian media, and thereby the Ferrari hierarchy, needs a scapegoat.

Schumacher was the final piece in a dream team that included Jean Todt, Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne that was to build a juggernaut that swept all before it for most of the early 2000s.

However, success didn't come overnight, having joined Ferrari in 1996, Schumacher didn't win the title until 2000. In the meantime, as his frustration grew the German was offered a new long-term deal.

Asked if Vettel might be offered a similar sweetener in order to keep him happy and on-side, Arrivabene told Sky Sports Italy: "I do not think that we can conquer his confidence with renewals. Sebastian has a contract with us, we work together this year and again next year, then during the next season we'll see.

"Each of us has goals," he added, "I have them, the team has them, Sebastian has them, we all have them. So it is only right that anyone, no matter who it is, earns their place and their salary.

"A lot of things are changed," he added, "what had worked with Michael might not necessarily work with Sebastian. Sebastian just needs to focus on the car. He is a person who gives so much, and sometimes this means he is interested in a bit of everything, so sometimes you have to re-focus him, remind him to be focused on the main job."

Asked about the comments, Vettel said he was unaware of them, insisting that all is fine.

"I don't know what he said," admitted the four-time champion, "so I don't want to interpret too much, but I enjoy a really good relationship with him. If there is something I don't like I tell him, and equally the other way around.

"I know there is nothing between us, nothing we need to sort out," he added. "Both our focus, his and mine, is we are trying to achieve the same thing. We are trying to win races, and get strong, especially in the future. And that is where the main focus goes."

It begins.

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1. Posted by Willie, 08/10/2016 20:59

"He thinks that he's the Enzo Ferrari in "Grand Prix."
Dream on."

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