Marchionne blames Ferrari ignoring quality parts for unreliability

Ferrari President Sergio Marchionne has pointed the finger at its quality parts department for its nightmare run of unreliability which has seen it suffer a near-fatal blow to its Formula 1 world title hopes.

Sebastian Vettel was forced to retire from the Japanese Grand Prix after just four laps due to a broken spark plug which was detected on his sighting lap to the starting grid but was failed to be fixed on the grid.

Vettel’s DNF at Suzuka adds another mark on the latest run of unreliability for Ferrari after both of its drivers were hampered by separate broken inlet manifolds on the compressor to the cylinder heads triggered by defective parts in Malaysia. The issue forced Vettel to effectively miss qualifying and start the Malaysia Grand Prix from last place while Kimi Raikkonen was unable to start the race.

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While Marchionne feels Ferrari needs to remain positive ahead of the final four races of the F1 season he says the mechanical faults have had a “devastating impact on performance”.

“The season is not lost, there’s still all to do,” Marchionne told Italy’s Class CNBC television. “I won’t talk of bad luck, I don’t believe in it.

“The important thing is to not lose the confidence that has brought us so far. I’m delighted with what the team has done and I have tremendous confidence that in the next four races we will be able to close most of the Mercedes gap.

Having seen consecutive races ruined by part defects Marchionne has reiterated his demand for changing in Ferrari’s structure to resolve the issue.

“It’s a problem we’ve probably ignored over time because it was never of much importance but now we’ve had at least three occasions where we’ve really seen the devastating impact on performance. We’ll fix it,” he said. “Without being arrogant, I think it [the car] is at the same level if not better than Mercedes’.

“I’m sure if we’d not had any problems like in the last three races, we would be having a different discussion.”

Vettel has dropped to 59 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton which means the Mercedes driver can mathematically wrap up the title at the next race at the United States Grand Prix, while Ferrari could also miss out on the constructors’ title in America with Mercedes holding a 145-point advantage in the standings.

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