Ferrari making "statement" with Vettel/Leclerc claim - Wolff

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff believes that Ferrari suggesting it could favour Sebastian Vettel from early in the season is a "statement".

Ferrari making "statement" with Vettel/Leclerc claim - Wolff

New Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto, who landed the top job after Maurizio Arrivabene was dropped, suggested last week that Vettel may be prioritised over Charles Leclerc if the situation calls for it.

"I think it's normal, especially early in the season, that if there are particular situations our priority will be Sebastian," Binotto said at the launch of Ferrari's 2019 car.

Wolff has no doubt that Binotto faces a big challenge in managing the Italian team's drivers.

"First of all Mattia has a tremendous task in front of him, and I believe he wants to do it his own way," said Wolff.

"Team orders are always a very controversial topic, we've discussed it last year, be it within Mercedes or Ferrari, and coming out with that at the beginning of the season is a statement."

Asked what sort of relationship he expected to enjoy with his rival, he added: "I've known Mattia for quite a long time, for many years, first as the engine boss and then as the technical director.

"Obviously now he's stepped up to being the team principal. I respect him, he's a very intelligent man, and he knows how to manoeuvre his way through the paddock. He will be a force to be reckoned with, absolutely."

Wolff admitted that the prospect of being the first team to secure six double titles – which would move his Mercedes team ahead of Ferrari in the record books – was very motivating.

"It wasn't done before, but equally there's a reason it wasn't done before, because it's very difficult, and it feels like you have 30 seconds left in the Super Bowl and you need to catch the ball, and it's not trivial to catch the ball in the last pass and drag it over into the touchdown zone.

"This is a little bit how it feels. But Ferrari is going to do everything to not make that happen, and equally some of the other teams."

shares
comments
Red Bull not alarmed by Ferrari/Alfa's radical front wings

Previous article

Red Bull not alarmed by Ferrari/Alfa's radical front wings

Next article

Pirelli: New track surface behind 2019 F1 speed gains

Pirelli: New track surface behind 2019 F1 speed gains
Load comments
The ill-fated Italian ace rendered an outsider at Ferrari Prime

The ill-fated Italian ace rendered an outsider at Ferrari

Anointed as Italy’s next great racing hero after the tragic death of Alberto Ascari, Luigi Musso was pushed out of favour at Ferrari by Peter Collins and Mike Hawthorn. Nigel Roebuck recalls a troubled soul…

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2021
The magic moments of modern racing's foremost all-rounder Prime

The magic moments of modern racing's foremost all-rounder

From Champ Car to Formula 1, NASCAR, back to IndyCar and now plying his trade in sportscars, Juan Pablo Montoya's career is remarkable for its versatility. Here, the Colombian reflects on 10 of his most significant moments along the way.

Formula 1
Oct 2, 2021
Why F1's best-sounding car flattered to deceive Prime

Why F1's best-sounding car flattered to deceive

Matra’s MS120 married rocket technology to an engine which sputtered out far too often. STUART CODLING examines how the championship-winning constructor’s ambitious project to build car and engine under one roof came to fail

Formula 1
Oct 1, 2021
Why Perez won't be broken by his latest F1 disappointments Prime

Why Perez won't be broken by his latest F1 disappointments

It has been a tricky past few races for Sergio Perez. The Red Bull driver has mustered just 16 points since the British Grand Prix in July and the team's constructors' championship chances have taken a hit. Yet the Mexican remains optimistic that he has all the tools he needs to turn his performances around

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2021
How Sainz turned crash streak into his best Ferrari F1 weekend so far Prime

How Sainz turned crash streak into his best Ferrari F1 weekend so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz was one of the stars of the 2021 Russian Grand Prix. But he came into the weekend with a streak of recent crashes hanging over him. Here’s how the Ferrari newcomer worked to overcome those setbacks and deliver yet more success for his new team.

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2021
How the pitstop rules change has left F1 teams scrambling Prime

How the pitstop rules change has left F1 teams scrambling

The technical directive issued by Formula 1 to reduce levels of automation in pitstops has given teams an unwelcome period of adjustment. Although safety was the primary goal, it has already had a significant impact on the title race and puts extra pressure on teams to deliver as the season reaches the business end

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2021
How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1 Prime

How the pandemic is continuing to bite F1

Uncertainty over the shape of the calendar doesn’t just vex the fans and the commercial rights holder. MARK GALLAGHER explains at how race promoters have been pushed to the financial brink

Formula 1
Sep 28, 2021
Russian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Russian Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

Formula 1
Sep 27, 2021