Wolff: Ferrari F1 team orders in Austrian GP would've been 'brutal'

Ferrari would have been "brutal" had it switched Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel's places with team orders in the Austrian Grand Prix, says Mercedes Formula 1 boss Toto Wolff

Wolff: Ferrari F1 team orders in Austrian GP would've been 'brutal'

Vettel retook the championship lead from Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton by one point with third place behind Raikkonen on a day when both Mercedes retired.

Having been as low as eighth thanks to a grid penalty for impeding Carlos Sainz Jr and then two first-lap errors, Vettel came back through the field and was closing on Raikkonen in the final part of the race as both chased race winner Max Verstappen.

Ferrari elected not to ask Raikkonen to cede second place to give Vettel an extra three points, despite the Finn being out of realistic title contention, in a decision Wolff applauded.

"We wouldn't have and I'm not surprised that they didn't," he said.

"I think for the sake of the sport and the fans and the drivers, at that stage in the season, the beginning of July, switching drivers is quite a brutal call."

Vettel got within 1.6 seconds of Raikkonen, but made clear he never anticipated team help - saying "no, why?" when asked by Sky Sports F1 if he had expected a place swap.

"Kimi did everything he could [to catch Verstappen]," Vettel added.

"I was trying to hunt both of them down. Kimi was pushing as hard as he could and I was pushing as hard as I could. Both of us were closing but it wasn't enough."

Raikkonen's second place moved him up to third in the drivers' championship, but he remains 45 points behind Vettel and is expected to lose his Ferrari seat to Charles Leclerc next year.

Asked if he was relieved that Ferrari refrained from team orders, Wolff replied: "There is not much to be relieved about from this race. It's been painful overall."

Ferrari's double podium moved it into a 10-points constructors' championship lead over Mercedes, whose second driver Valtteri Bottas is now down to sixth in the drivers' standings following his Red Bull Ring retirement.

Bottas is 53 points adrift of team-mate Hamilton, but beat him to Austria pole in Mercedes' front row sweep before losing the lead with a poor start.

After qualifying, Wolff had made it clear that Mercedes would not be asking Bottas to perform a number two role.

"We are at race nine, there's a long way to go and I think we owe it to the fans - and it's also the racing mindset that we have - that we won't be playing for a drivers' championship in June or July," he said.

"Obviously towards the end of the season, if you go into the last third of the championship and you see there is a solid advantage for one of the drivers, this is the unfortunate situation within any racing team that you need to look at the situation.

"But not now."

shares
comments
Tyre blisters made Sainz's Renault F1 car 'undriveable' in Austria

Previous article

Tyre blisters made Sainz's Renault F1 car 'undriveable' in Austria

Next article

How Mercedes outdid its own Armageddon

How Mercedes outdid its own Armageddon
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Susie Wolff
Teams Ferrari
Author Scott Mitchell
Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash Plus

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas' collision at Imola on Sunday prompted fury in the Formula 1 paddock. But Russell's carefully-worded heartfelt statement later, acknowledging that his initial response was wrong, proved the right move

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight Plus

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

Formula 1
Apr 21, 2021
How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Plus

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021