F1
Nate Saunders, F1 Associate Editor 45d

Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne makes organisational changes after 'ugly' Malaysia issues

Formula 1

Ferrari's double dose of engine trouble at the Malaysian Grand Prix has prompted company president Sergio Marchionne to make organisational changes to improve "the quality department" of the Formula One team.

After being involved in a collision with teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Red Bull's Max Verstappen in Singapore, Sebastian Vettel's championship ambitions took suffered a major blow in Sepang after an engine issue in qualifying forced him to start from the back of the grid. Raikkonen qualified second and looked set to take the fight to Lewis Hamilton, only to encounter similar issues in the build-up to the race.

That issue meant Raikkonen failed to start the race and although Hamilton was beaten to the race win by Verstappen, his second-place finish is likely better than he would have achieved had one or both Ferrari's been unaffected. It allowed the Mercedes driver to increase his lead over Vettel, who battled back to fourth, to 34 points with just five rounds remaining.

Marchionne says the events of the weekend were a by-product of youth and inexperience in the engine department.

"Yesterday, both Ferraris could have won the race," Marchionne said on Monday. "That's a fact. It could have also been the same at Singapore, that's another fact.

"It's also a fact that we've got some issues with our power units because we have a young team, but also because the quality of the components is not at the right level for a race car. We are intervening and we are working on it.

"It's almost fortunate we haven't had that problem until the Malaysian GP. Now we're working on the quality department and making some organisational changes.

"Having this kind of problem during the race make us angry. That's not a big problem if this kind of issue appears in our factory, but it's really ugly when you're in second place on the grid and you can't start the race."

The result also helped Mercedes strengthen its lead over Ferrari in the constructors' championship, which now stands at 118 points.

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