x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Domenicali: We didn't get the points we deserved

Stefano Domenicali, Ferrari's sporting director, talks to Simon Arron about the team's safety car problems at the European Grand Prix.

Can you explain your post-race frustration in Valencia? "We were angry because we didn't get the points we deserved, considering our performance. We took a step forward - not enough to catch Red Bull [who won the race], but still in the right direction. If you look at the result, though, it looks as though we were at a lower point than we were in Turkey, which was our most difficult race of the year."

How did you view the safety car incident? "We were extremely unlucky. If you look at the only cars that were on the main straight when the safety car was deployed, Sebastian Vettel was entitled to be in front of the safety car, Lewis Hamilton didn't respect it and we ended up with our two cars behind it, which allowed all the others to pit and take advantage of the fact that we were not able to pass. It affected Ferrari very, very badly.

Should the safety car driver have waved everybody past until it had picked up the leader? "Race control can deploy the safety car irrespective of what is happening on the track and that is, I have to say, correct. As far as I understand it, they wanted to protect the medical car." Fernando Alonso originally claimed the result had been "manipulated" by the FIA, motorsport's governing body...

"His race was spoiled by a situation beyond our control and I think he was speaking in the heat of the moment." Will you take the matter up with the FIA? "I have, for the future, but that won't alter this weekend's result." sports@thenational.ae