Ferrari needs to cure late 2017 'headaches' as it targets title success in 2018

Wolff exclusive: Mercedes must forget about 2017 success (4:42)

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Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene says the Scuderia needs to find a cure for the issues it faced last season if it is to fight Formula One rivals Mercedes for world championships this year.

The Maranello outfit became the first team to seriously threaten Mercedes' dominance of the sport since the V6 hybrid era began in 2014 last season, claiming five victories. Sebastian Vettel's title charge ultimately fell apart following a desperate run of results after the summer break -- including a series of reliability failures -- but despite missing out on both world championships, Ferrari enjoyed its most successful season in recent memory.

"To summarise the season, if you want to have a quick summary and want to use the example of the glass of water -- I don't like wine -- mid-season we were thirsty, and end-of-season we were using the water because we take a pill because we have a bit of headache and that's the summary of the season," Arrivabene said.

"Apart from that I think the team was pushing, really hard. They were working well. We have certain circumstances that they were not in our favour. I have to say congratulations to Mercedes. They won and they deserved the drivers' and constructors' championships. For 2018 we try to do our best to be better."

While Vettel was beaten to the drivers' title, teammate Kimi Raikkonen endured a frustrating campaign and finished fourth in the standings. Ending a nine-year wait for a pole position in Monaco was a highlight, but ultimately the Finn fell short of replicating consistent performances throughout the campaign.

Raikkonen, who is under pressure to perform in 2018 with Ferrari protégé Charles Leclerc set to make his F1 debut with Sauber, reckons only "small changes" are needed for him to pull off a title charge. Speaking about Raikkonen's performances in 2017, Arrivabene said luck was not a factor.

"I don't trust on luck or not luck, even if I'm Italian. I trust on fact and fact means points. Bad luck or good luck is not influencing this. Sometimes it could be in terms of perception or because maybe other drivers are crashing on his car, the final reality is the points you are scoring and this is what is making a driver good or bad. We are happy about the performance of Kimi, by the way, otherwise we are not confirming him."