Monza leaves glass half full for Ferrari boss

Sun Sep 6, 2015 2:28pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

MONZA, Italy (Reuters) - The glass was half full for Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene after Sunday's Italian Grand Prix, even if Kimi Raikkonen filled it almost to the brim before sloshing the contents around.

With Sebastian Vettel taking second place in his first race in Italy in red Ferrari overalls, the home team could hold their heads high even if they never came close to catching Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes.

Raikkonen, Ferrari's 2007 world champion, had outqualified Vettel and started on the front row to the delight of a legion of tifosi -- including Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne.

Then it all went wrong.

The Finn was left standing as everyone else pulled away, cars veering around him to the left and right, before getting going and entering the first corner in last place.

He ended up fifth after a strong fightback, helped by a rare Mercedes engine failure that denied Nico Rosberg a place on the podium.

Ferrari remained second overall in the constructors' championship, with Mercedes disappearing into the distance.

"Yesterday, Kimi had done a great qualifying and we were all pleased," said Arrivabene. "Today he got, most probably, messed up a bit, we need still to check but most probably messed up a bit with the finger (in releasing the clutch).   Continued...

Ferrari Formula One team principal Maurizio Arrivabene looks on during the first free practice session for the Italian F1 Grand Prix in Monza September 4, 2015.  REUTERS/Max Rossi