F1
Laurence Edmondson, F1 Editor 15d

Vettel: No panic at Ferrari after Malaysia engine failures

Formula 1

SUZUKA, Japan -- Sebastian Vettel insists Ferrari reacted to its engine problems at the Malaysian Grand Prix in a "normal" way and has played down suggestions that a major reshuffle in staff is on the cards.

After a series of engine issues saw Vettel start from the back of the grid and Kimi Raikkonen fail to make the start, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne said the team was "angry" and would proceed with a series of organisational changes to improve reliability. Combined with both Ferraris being taken out of the previous round in a first corner crash, the Italian team has dropped a significant amount of points in the last two races while Vettel has slipped 34 points adrift of title rival Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' standings.

But speaking ahead of this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, Vettel said reports of major changes behind the scenes at Maranello are exaggerated.

"I heard that as well -- not from him [Marchionne] -- more from the press," Vettel said. "I'm not sure it's put in the right context. Whatever happens on track happens on track. The other thing, what happened in Singapore, you can't take much action.

"We had a problem in Malaysia, stopping myself and Kimi. So it's normal that you try to understand things. It's normal that you have a shift in people. Knowing what's going on internally, there's no panic or any big plans as a reaction. Maybe it's more a coincidence between the events."

Despite a limited amount of time to fully understand the problems in Malaysia, Vettel is confident Ferrari will not experience a repeat in Japan.

"Obviously we've been looking into those. I think we have a good understanding, but it's still ongoing to try and understand the picture completely. It's only been a couple of days. Some parts went back to understand and get a full picture, but I'm pretty sure here shouldn't be an issue."

Speaking about his championship chances, Vettel added: "We are behind so it depends on what Mercedes is doing. I think it's pretty clear we need to do our best. We are behind on points if we look at the championship, so we need to score much more than them. How we achieve it doesn't matter, as long as we achieve it. It's much more straightforward if we get our optimum and ideally win a lot of races. Then we've got a chance."

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