Ferrari says team orders for F1 starts 'dangerous and crazy'

Ferrari Formula 1 team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has angrily ruled out the possibility of forcing his drivers to obey team orders at the start of grands prix

Ferrari says team orders for F1 starts 'dangerous and crazy'

His comments follow controversial events at the Italian GP in which Kimi Raikkonen, who was 68 points behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel at the time, was seemingly given preference in qualifying and then raced Ferrari's title contender hard on the first lap.

"I want to be clear - once, forever," Arrivabene said, speaking to the press for the first time on the subject. "Who is so crazy to give a team order to a driver at the start of the race?"

Ferrari had declared that its drivers were "free to race" each other at Monza and Raikkonen firmly rebuffed a challenge from Vettel at the start - leaving his team-mate vulnerable to attack from Lewis Hamilton later in the lap.

Vettel then spun as he tried to maintain position when Hamilton overtook him around the outside at the Roggia chicane.

The incident consigned him to a damage-limitation strategy and an eventual fourth-place finish, causing him to lose a net 13 points to Hamilton in the drivers' championship.

Arrivabene hit out at critics of Ferrari's race operations, contending that there is too much happening in too short a timeframe at the beginning of a grand prix, with too many variables, for a team to effectively impose orders.

"We do everything with the maximum professional effort," he said. "Before the race we look at the video of the start [of previous races at that circuit]. Our team manager gives instructions to the drivers about the best line to follow.

"The only instruction you can give to the drivers for the first corner is, 'Guys, I would like to have both of the cars OK.'

"All the rest is nonsense and I'll explain the reason to you. Kimi, in the case of Monza, was in pole position. Sebastian was eight metres from him. How do you think Kimi can look where Sebastian is?

"So in your opinion the order is, 'Kimi, please, slow down when you start and don't worry if Hamilton and all the others are overtaking you.' What are we discussing?

"Don't expect me to give team orders to the drivers at the start of the race, looking forward to the first corner. It's too dangerous and it's crazy."

Arrivabene's comments come one year on from the Singapore GP startline incident in which Vettel made an indifferent start from pole position and jinked right on the approach to Turn 1, collecting both Raikkonen and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.

The incident forced all three cars to retire from the race and was the first of a series of events that derailed Vettel's championship challenge.

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Series Formula 1
Teams Ferrari
Author Stuart Codling
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