Wolff: Ferrari "between rock and hard place" over F1 team orders

Toto Wolff says Ferrari are “between a rock and a hard place” when it comes to using team orders on Formula 1 team-mates Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

Wolff: Ferrari "between rock and hard place" over F1 team orders

Max Verstappen was given extra breathing space to control Saturday’s sprint race after Leclerc and Sainz were compromised by an intense fight for second in the early laps.

After a close battle at Turn 4 resulted in Sainz losing ground, Leclerc was able to run in clear air in his pursuit of the leader.

PLUS: Why Ferrari can take it to the wire in Austria despite Verstappen's sprint dominance

Following the race, Leclerc said the team can't afford to repeat the battle if it is to beat the Red Bull driver in Sunday’s race.

The Mercedes boss said he thought it was “actually quite a good call” to let the pair race, adding that team principal Mattia Binotto would have gotten “even more shit for team orders.”

Wolff said: “No, I find it actually quite a good call, they let them race. That was the only entertainment from this race. So that was good to watch.

“Now you can save if you're losing massive grounds on Verstappen when you are fighting for the championship that needs to be considered. But in any case, as a team, you always get the blame.

“You let them race, then everybody's gonna say well you're losing grounds against your main competitor, you're not letting them race you are getting even more shit for team orders at that stage of the season.

“So you're between a rock and a hard place. I know what we would have done...but I wouldn't say it.”

Binotto said “the fastest car on track is the one that is prioritised,” but that he was “happy to see those two drivers fighting.”

Mattia Binotto, Team Principal, Ferrari

Mattia Binotto, Team Principal, Ferrari

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

He said: “By maximising the team points, I’m pretty sure we are maximising the drivers’ opportunities by taking off points from the opponents. The opponents should not be Charles for Carlos and Carlos for Charles, but for Max, Lewis and all the others.

Read Also:

“So that’s the way we see it, the fastest car on track is the one that is prioritised. We believe by doing so, certainly at the moment at this time of the championship, there are things we can do.

“If later in the championship there will be one of the two drivers who got most of the opportunities, certainly we will try to gain full priority, but it’s not the situation right now. So we need to cope with it.

“Still, I’m happy to see those two drivers fighting. When there are team orders, everybody is blaming us because we could have free fight, and we go the free fight, we should have team orders.

“So whatever you are doing is always wrong, and remember 20 years ago here in Austria, I heard the booing from the grandstands because I was here. It’s always delicate, and each single person after the race knows how we should deal with the situations.

“Once again, what we are trying to do is maximise the team points which I’m pretty sure is the right choice.”

shares
comments

Related video

Red Bull F1 car “still a bit heavy” in qualifying trim – Verstappen
Previous article

Red Bull F1 car “still a bit heavy” in qualifying trim – Verstappen

Next article

F1 to discuss "unacceptable" fan harassment with Austrian GP promoter

F1 to discuss "unacceptable" fan harassment with Austrian GP promoter
The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023
Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons Plus

Why the new Williams boss shouldn’t avoid ‘Mercedes B-team’ comparisons

OPINION: Williams has moved to replace the departed Jost Capito by appointing former Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles as its new team principal. But while he has sought to play down the idea of moulding his new squad into a vision of his old one, some overlap is only to be expected and perhaps shouldn't be shied away from

Formula 1
Jan 17, 2023