Sergio Marchionne has warned that time is running out for Ferrari to win the 2016 world championship.
Despite urging for early wins this year as well as the title, Ferrari’s new president has seen the opening seven grands prix go past without victory for the Maranello team.
A turbo upgrade in Canada looked to have put Ferrari’s campaign back on track, but Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen have been over a second off the pace all weekend in Baku.
“The gap is just too big here,” the German driver said. “We need to look into it.”
Vettel said it is not right to say Baku is just a one-off because of the superiority of Mercedes’ engine on the incredibly long, 2 kilometre straight.
“We are not losing most of the time on the straights,” he admitted.
Speaking to the Italian press, Ferrari president Marchionne excused Vettel for the current situation.
“Vettel is a pilot with extraordinary abilities,” he said, “but he has to be given the right car to win.
“The problem is the machine (Ferrari SF16-H),” Marchionne added at an event in Venice.
“I repeat: it is necessary to give the machine so that Vettel can win — he is ready. The problem is that when he gets a winning car, the whole season is ruined.”
Former Renault boss Flavio Briatore, who was in the Baku paddock on Saturday, said of Ferrari: “They have made impressive progress and Vettel drives very well.
“But Sergio Marchionne knows he needs to improve the technical staff. It does not help that Maranello is in Italy,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.