Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne warns team over lack of F1 wins
Marchionne demands Ferrari team end Mercedes' winning run soon
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 18/04/16 10:27am
Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne has warned his Formula 1 team the "clock is on" and they must start beating Mercedes to race wins.
The Scuderia have closed the gap to F1's world champions over the winter but are yet to beat them in either qualifying or race conditions at 2016's opening three rounds.
Ferrari's start to the season has also been hampered by reliability concerns and, in a stark public warning delivered to the Maranello team at the Chinese GP, Marchionne made clear his frustrations.
"What could have been is unfortunate because it didn't happen - we didn't win - so we need to fix this now," he told Sky Sports F1 on Sunday.
"The team knows that the clock is on and we need to start winning some races and bringing them home."
The Italian was speaking hours before Ferrari's title challenge suffered a fresh blow in Shanghai when team-mates Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen collided on the first lap.
Both cars sustained damage and dropped down the order and, although they raced back to second and fifth places respectively, the team lost yet more ground to Mercedes in both championship races despite Lewis Hamilton's own troubled weekend.
Ferrari are 53 points off the pace in the Constructors' Championship and, while they can point to a string of podiums, the team last beat Mercedes at September's Singapore GP and still only three times in total since turbo engines returned in 2014. Their last world title came in 2008.
By contrast, Mercedes are on a best-ever run of nine consecutive victories - two short of F1's all-time record set by McLaren in 1988.
Marchionne had already ramped up expectation ahead of the season by suggesting Ferrari should be ready to beat Mercedes from the first race - an opportunity they squandered in Melbourne last month via a botched strategy call.
The Italian, who has a reputation for ruthlessness from his wider role as the head of the Fiat-Chrysler road car empire, expects the development of Ferrari's SF16-H to soon put them on par with Mercedes.
"The team has developed a car at this point to the level we expected and I think we knew we weren't going to be exactly on Mercedes at the beginning of the season," he said.
"But the car will develop to the point where there is no distinguishable difference between us and them. That's really important because it will let the drivers run."
Don't miss the F1 Report on Wednesday at 8:30pm on Sky Sports F1 for full analysis of an action-packed Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit. Natalie Pinkham is joined in the studio by Marc Priestley and Alex Lynn.
Every race live in 2016
Sky Sports F1 brings you every race live in 2016. Fast and easy online upgrade - click here.