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Maurizio Arrivabene: Ferrari axe rumours forgot to name Tyrion Lannister

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Maurizio Arrivabene has brushed off speculation he could be sacked as Ferrari team principal amid growing pressure at the Italian team.

Ferrari has yet to score a victory this season and is 33 points down on its tally after the opening four races last year. Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne has made clear that he expects victories in the coming races, leading to speculation in the Italian press that Arrivabene could be replaced if the team does not perform.

The stories named Ferrari technical director James Allison as a potential replacement, with Mercedes chief designer Aldo Costa also linked to the team along with Toro Rosso's technical director James Key.

"They were talking about James, they were talking about Aldo Costa, but they forgot one name: Tyrion Lannister," Arrivabene said to Sky Sports, making reference to one of the lead characters in TV series Game of Thrones. "That was the real candidate and I'm surprised that they don't mention his name!"

He added: "I don't comment on speculation like this, okay?"

Ferrari has made a series of radical changes to its car this year in the pursuit of performance, but Arrivabene admitted it had not been enough to beat reigning champions Mercedes.

"We have a programme of development, we try very hard and took big risks at the beginning of the season. We have also had a bit of bad luck, being honest, but I have said many times that this Mercedes team is the strongest team of the last ten years.

"To be able to beat them you need to take some risks and you need to work very hard. I am talking about this with respect for them, but with determination that we can catch up."