May 3 (GMM/Inautonews.com) Sebastian Vettel is feeling the pressure as Ferrari’s 2016 title push flounders, according to the Italian press after the grand prix in Russia.
“Vettel could not hide his anger,” wrote Corriere dello Sport, after the German was taken out by Daniil Kvyat at Sochi.
“The gap between Ferrari and Mercedes deepens more and more,” it added. “The Maranello team begins to get nervous and Vettel feels the impact of a tense climate.”
Indeed, the qualifying gap to Mercedes in Russia was almost a full second, while Nico Rosberg easily cruised to his fourth consecutive win in 2016.
“Ferrari is sinking in a quagmire of problems,” La Repubblica, also referring to reliability issues, said.
“The only consolation for Maranello (at Sochi) was Raikkonen, but his podium was not enough to mitigate the disappointment of Vettel’s weekend.”
La Gazzetta dello Sport agrees: “Vettel’s weekend could not have been worse. (Car) problems and the catastrophic start left Sebastian and Arrivabene angry with a weekend nobody expects from Ferrari.
“Kimi reached the podium but (in the race) he fell asleep a couple of times,” wrote Umberto Zapelloni.
The sports daily explained that the anger of team boss Maurizio Arrivabene and Vettel is because, although just four races into the long 21-date calendar, the points gap to Rosberg is already 67 points.
“Ferrari is at a crossroads,” said Gazzetta.
Arrivabene, however, was quoted as saying: “If we win the next five races, everything is open again.”
Former Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso thinks that is very unlikely.
“Ferrari is having unfortunate races and mechanical problems, but the problem is the big advantage Mercedes has year after year,” he told Cadena Cope radio.
“It is true that Ferrari has more pressure because it seems to get closer and then not, but the problem is Mercedes,” the now McLaren-Honda driver added.