MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Ferrari ended a 20-race scoring run on Sunday in a Mexican Grand Prix that had promised much but ended with their first double retirement of the Formula One season.
“Over the course of the season we had already managed to touch the sky,” said principal Maurizio Arrivabene. “This time we reached the bottom.”
The last time Ferrari drew a blank was in Japan last year, a race overshadowed by tragedy when Marussia’s French driver Jules Bianchi suffered what was to prove a fatal crash.
Ferrari failed to win a race in 2014 but have taken three victories this year thanks to Sebastian Vettel and have become the closest rivals to dominant champions Mercedes.
Mexico, hosting a Formula One race for the first time since 1992, dealt a surprisingly heavy blow.
Sebastian Vettel had qualified third but after banging wheels with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo on the first lap he picked up a puncture that sent him back into the pits to rejoin at the rear.
He fought back hard but a spin undid the good work and then he crashed 20 laps from the end, bringing out the safety car. It was only the second time this year that he had failed to score a point.
Vettel, who lost second place overall to Mercedes’ race winner and compatriot Nico Rosberg, said he had probably been trying too hard.
Team mate Kimi Raikkonen had already gone by then, the Finn crashing out after a tangle with compatriot Valtteri Bottas. He had started at the back after an unscheduled engine and gearbox change.
It was Ferrari’s first double retirement since Australia in 2006.
“Today’s race was a lesson of humility that we must put to good use,” said Arrivabene, looking forward to the last two races of the season in Brazil and Abu Dhabi.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin; editing by Ian Ransom