"Yesterday, both Ferraris could have won the race", said Marchionne. Instead, Vettel found himself on the back foot after and engine problem in qualifying put him at the back of the grid.
Yet the mood after Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix was nearly despondent, despite Hamilton finishing in second place and Vettel fourth.
Formula One world champions Mercedes have some "real big problems" to fix with their vehicle, title favourite Lewis Hamilton said on Sunday after finishing second in the Malaysian Grand Prix. He could ultimately have made a start from the pit lane but could not even do that.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his auto during the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit in Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, Oct. 1. Teammate Kimi Raikkonen had been set to start from the front-row alongside pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton, but a turbo failure on his way to the grid prevented him from completing a single lap.
"We have lost so much pace this weekend.how can a auto that is so fast on many circuits lose so much with a tyre that is overheating?"
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"For me on the vehicle it looks okay, but we heard many times "blue flags, blue flags" from him so probably it's one of those". We're looking at our own performance, our own level of performance, whether it was good enough or better than anybody else's. "If they finished the races as they should have performed, we would not have increased our points advantage, but would have lost many points to them".
Valtteri Bottas struggled to fifth place, over 40 seconds behind Hamilton, having also qualified 0.680s behind his team-mate. Hamilton, meanwhile, will begin on pole. Their pace was behind Red Bull and Ferrari.
Hamilton struggled with his vehicle before, at Russian Federation and Monaco, but the team felt they had solved the issues and Hamilton won four out of five grands prix.
"It is fantastic to see Max get a well-deserved victory after enduring so much bad luck throughout the season", Red Bull team boss Christian Horner said.
Vettel set the fastest lap and a lap record on his charge through the field on Sunday even as Mercedes struggled for the second weekend in a row with a auto described by team boss Toto Wolff as "capricious". So to come away with a first and second is very strong, particularly on a circuit where we shouldn't have had those results. "But that's the best I could really do".
With six races remaining in the title race for 2017, the last ever race at Sepang is a crucial one in terms of the championship.
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