For sure in Maranello today the environment should not be calm. What happened last Sunday in Interlagos must have made a dent sound in all workers and suporters of the oldest and most popular team in Formula One and is not for less. Mattia Binotto has (according to thinking) the obligation that a fact like that of Brazil does not happen again, much less next 2020 if Ferrari wants to get to win the title of drivers and manufacturers championships.
On Saturday at FP2, watching from the paddock roof, on an non speed lap they passed very close at the entrance of curve 2, Seb and Charles and I commented, “These two guys are fighting even when they go to the bathroom” That is the atmosphere that the team lives with its two drivers. And on Sunday it was confirmed. That was just a matter of time.
Formula One is not a Disney Movie and we cannot expect it to be appropriate for two drivers of the same team to dispute the position on track as it happened on Sunday when Ferrari gets his first DNF of both cars of the season. It would obviously be the best show for us, but it is not gain for the team. It doesn't happen at Red Bull, it doesn't happen at Mercedes, and it shouldn't be happening at Ferrari. The Italian team should decide which driver is the one to get priority for fight for the races and chamionship, if Sebastian Vettel, the experienced driver with 4 titles in his carear, or rookie Charles Leclerc with only two seasons as a F1 driver and his first year at Ferrari.
With this introduction, try to say what I know was going to happen, and I agree with Binotto "this should not happen."
Since Sebastian Vettel made the mistake in the 2018 German Grand Prix, he was not the same driver than we known form Red Bull years again and his mistakes increased this season, Charles Leclerc with better performances perhaps than expected for being his second year at F1 and hisirst year at Ferrari, he began to threaten the German driver with taking his place of number 1 within the Italian team. despite that Binotto has always maintained (at least in words) that Sebastian was the # 1 driver of the team.
At the second race of the year, Leclerc had already won from the pole, but the Ferrari # 16 was without power leaving the race, but until then he had made an excellent race and clearly surpassed Vettel. After that race, t Ferrari decrease their performance and were specifically overtaken by Mercedes Benz with their two cars. But Leclerc from the French GP at Paul Ricard, started beating Vettel and did so for 9 consecutive races in qualy. Vettel continued making mistakes.
Leclerc won two races, Spa and Monza. The latter since the Pole, achieved on a controversial Saturday, as Leclerc made the fastest lap at Vettel´s slipstream and them Leclerc doesn’t done his part as prearranged by the team. Vettel doesn’t been happy at all.
Vettel won in Singapore. after going in third position in an "unintentional strategy" by trying to make an ”undercut" to Hamiton who was running in second. The play went well, so well that he overcame in the same pit stop to Leclerc who asked to attack his partner, but team denied it from pit wall. Vettel won the race. Tension Ferrari was growing at that moment.
Russia came, Grand Prix than which the two Ferrari´s drivers had a supposed agreement that Vettel who was third, can use Leclerc´s slipstream who went first to overtake Hamilton who was second. He overtaken both cars and then refused to return the position to Leclerc despite the team order. A subsequent break in Vettel's engine denies him the race, and a bad strategy (like so many others) denies the race to Leclerc.
And so we come to the most recent history of the Brazilian Grand Prix. Slight touch fighting for positions blowing both tires, both Ferraris out of the race.
“Is not a big drama, is an opportunity to clarify things for the future." Binotto said at final race press conference at Ferraris hospitality
The Team Principal are in a very difficult position they must take a risk and decide between their two drivers. Who will be the #1 team driver for the next season.
Mattia Binotto must choose between Sebastian Vettel, who is making mistakes or Charles Leclerc who got better results at the current season. I respect Seb very much to his 4 titles reached, it is an achievement that few can be awarded, obviously with the best car of the grid but the truth is that today he is not focused on team racing and his performance is not so good like everybody expected, and on the other hand, Ferrari has a very promising young driver that can achieve the tittle near future
Author: Mat Ferreyra @mfrrreyra