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Ferrari paying for rapid change, Wolff says

Mercedes boss says they have been pushing the boundaries

Gulf News

Osaka: Toto Wolff, Mercedes’ motorsport director, believes Ferrari are paying the price for their rapid rate of improvement this year and have effectively reached their limits.
 Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel has enjoyed the fastest car for much of this season — certainly for most of the recent Asian swing — but reliability issues have meant the German has fallen from three points behind Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton to 59 points behind.
 Asked whether he felt it was a shame that the title race appeared to have been decided by reliability, Wolff said: “In this sport, you take no prisoners. It is about having the fastest car, the best driver and the most solid performance. And we’ve been there. When you’re pushing the boundaries, you eventually reach [your] limits. Ferrari’s development from 2016 to 2017 was exceptional and probably this is a ‘development’ phase.”
 Vettel was pulled from Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix after just four laps due a spark-plug failure. “Of course, I don’t need to be a genius or a mathematician,” the German said when asked about the points gap. “What we have to do now is, like I said to the guys, let’s get back and get some rest. It has been a tough, tough [few] weeks.”
 Red Bull’s team principal, Christian Horner, whose drivers have been the other big beneficiaries of Ferrari’s problems, commiserated with his opposite number Maurizio Arrivabene, whose future has been called into question. “I feel for Sebastian — because that is a killer blow for his championship — and for the fans, because it looks like we’re not going to get the exciting run-in to the end of the year.”

- The Telegraph Group Limited, London 2017