Mattia Binotto defends Ferrari’s current policy of pitting Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz against each other on track.
Mattia Binotto protected Ferraricurrent permission policy Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz fight on the track.
Spaniard Sainz, who trails Leclerc by just 12 points after his breakthrough win at Silverstone a week ago, defended Ferrari’s equality policy.
“The important thing is that we are both fighting and we will try to do everything possible to beat Max,” he said after Saturday’s sprint race.
Leclerc, who dined alfresco with team boss Binot after the British Grand Prix, was less impressed.
“For tomorrow, we probably can’t afford what we did today,” the 24-year-old said.
Many experts agreed.
“It wasn’t very smart from the team’s point of view,” former F1 driver and current president of the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association Alex Wurtz told ORF.
“They made life easy for Max Verstappen.”
Red Bull is also happy with Ferrari’s current situation.
“They make themselves worse for five races,” said the doctor Helmut Marco said. “Either technology or tactics.
“They were very close today,” he told Speed Week, “so it’s lucky for us that they fought each other.
“We take it with a little surprise, but with gratitude,” smiled a senior Austrian Red Bull official.
Verstappen agreed: “I was able to open a gap when the Ferraris were fighting each other. After that I controlled the race.
“At the end of the day, our pace was pretty similar.”
Mercedes Toto Wolff said he sympathized with Ferrari, noting “welcome to the club”, considering the dilemma faced by Binotto.
“If they allow their drivers to race against each other, as they did today, there will be criticism because the drivers cost each other time,” he said.
“If they follow a command order, they have to take even more criticism.”
Binotta is unapologetic, insisting that both Leclerc and Sainz are “still fighting for the world championship”.
“As a team, you always have to make the wisest move because the team always comes first. But I’m very happy to see my two pilots fight.
“Whatever we decide to do, it’s wrong,” he added, echoing similar comments by Wolfe.
“If we only had one great driver, we would have preferred him, but that’s not the case now. Our strategy is to get as many points as possible for the team.
“We believe that this strategy also benefits our drivers as it takes points away from the rivals and the rivals should not be Charles for Carlos and Carlos for Charles.
“It should be Max, Lewis and the others. They can now race,” said Binotta.