Maurizio Arrivabene, Ferrari, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2017

Arrivabene “laughing” at claims Vettel is team’s number one

2017 Monaco Grand Prix

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Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said he laughed at claims the team had favoured Sebastian Vettel during the Monaco Grand Prix.

Kimi Raikkonen led the first stint of the race but fell behind his team mate when they made their pit stops. This prompted claims from some, including Lewis Hamilton, that Ferrari had favoured championship leader Vettel as their number one driver.

Romain Grosjean, Sebastian Vettel, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, 2017
Canadian GP practice in pictures
Arrivabene dismissed the suggestion.

“I was reading after Monaco and hearing all the speculation about number one and number two,” he said. “I always said that it’s not that situation, into the team. We are looking forward in the championship, we all our best for the constructors’ championship.”

“To be able to do well in the constructors’ championship you need two drivers. This is very important for Ferrari. It is the only trophy that if you are able to win it, it stays at home. The drivers’ trophy goes to the driver, of course.”

“So I was very clear since the beginning of the season in our rule of engagement. Until the numbers are going in one direction or the other direction, I’m talking about the driver, no team orders. This is very clear. The drivers know, they accept it.”

“I think what has happened in Monaco, I was a bit laughing when I heard all these comments because it is not reality.

“There is no problem between the drivers. We are looking to the constructors’ [championship], the drivers’ championship is there job. They are free to do it until the numbers are clear in one direction or the other. In that case we apply our rules of engagement, but not now and not in Monaco.”

2017 Monaco Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 43 comments on “Arrivabene “laughing” at claims Vettel is team’s number one”

    1. Sky is really annoying with this topic at the moment. I had to mute the broadcast during the practise until they moved on to something more tolerable, like praising Palmer.

      1. Agreed. They’re trying too hard to make a controversy out of it.

        Even if Ferrari did it (which I didn’t see decisive evidence of), good on them for trying to maximise the points in both championships. Imagine if they didn’t do it, and Vettel loses the driver’s championship by less than 6 points at the end of the year.

        Kimi was the benefactor of the opposite in 2007, and I didn’t see any of the finger haters bat an eyelid back then.

        1. Arad (@just-an-fan)
          10th June 2017, 0:21

          They did bat many eyelids. It was a different time. These 15 year old fans who Bernie was talking about didn’t exist back then. Now these 15 year olds thing Lulu is the racing God, and everybody else must let him win.

    2. “Until the numbers are going in one direction or the other direction, Iā€™m talking about the driver, no team orders.” The numbers are going in direction of Vettel so there is team orders.

      1. @scuderia_fan85
        “They are free to do it until the numbers are clear in one direction or the other.” Right now, they are mathematically both able to win the title, so there are no team orders, much like when it favoured Kimi in 2007, or went against him in 2008.

    3. Maybe I’m wrong but I think that Ferrari picked the scenario that did as much as possible with strategy to eliminate the risk of anything other than a Ferrari 1-2 finish. With Vettel pitting first you introduce the possibility of someone over-cutting him. It didn’t work out great for Kimi but it just as easily could have if the safety cars had started coming out sooner.

      1. @leejo

        Kimi himself has said on camera that he had traffic once he got out of the pits.
        The on board footage shoes Kimi having to clear traffic (Button and Pascal?)
        Laptimes also show Kimi’s post pit lap times where slower again due to him having to clear traffic

        Vettel had no traffic once he got out the pits.

        Ferrari are not so stupid that they didn’t know Kimi would come out in traffic. they knew Seb wouldn’t come out in traffic when he pitted, and they knew if they kept him out another lap or 2 he’d emerge from the pits behind Kim

        If Ferrari wanted to protect Kimi’s lead they would have pitted him later once they knew he could have exited into clean air, or pitted Seb a few laps earlier or later so he’d come out behind Kimi.

        you need some serious blinkers on to not see that the Ferrari strategy was implemented to the purposeful detriment of Kimi over promoting Seb to take the race win.

        Kimi slowed right down after Seb emerged ahead. I’m hoping there is a bit extra life in Kimi’s engine as a result which may benefit him in a future race.

        1. Ferrari didn’t know the future and every lap out on the old tires risks a safety car. I think it’s easy for us who are doing this analysis after the fact. All the information about relative speeds and slowing down seem pretty meaningless to me at Monaco. Drivers simply need only be fast enough to keep the guy behind from passing, but otherwise there’s no fear of getting caught there, and this affects the lap times you see at all phases of the race with the exception of attempting to execute an under or over cut.

          The Ferrari conspiracy hypothesis assumes that things worked out as they did – no safety car while Kimi was on supers and Kimi was on ultras. But you must also consider the opposite result. Imagine the race result if a safety car had come out while Vettel remained on Ultras. It would have been a disaster. Ferrari had no way of knowing which risk was greater at the time.

          Further, the Ferrari conspiracy hypothesis relies on the assumption that Ferrari is able to calculate accurately which cars will pit when 10 or so laps in advance, so that they were able to dump Kimi out in traffic while simultaneously engineering Vettel’s clear track several laps later. If they are that good, then they have no excuse for not winning more races. I don’t buy it.

          Ferrari could have brought Vettel in immediately after Kimi, sure, but I don’t think that’s very sporting to either driver either. If your driver has a chance to win the race, you should work to make that happen. I think that’s all that happened here. The plan was to bring in Kimi, then bring in Vettel, they got stuck behind traffic and thought hey let’s let Vettel stay out a bit longer instead of joining the procession. A simple reaction to the race as it was happening, not a devious scheme well-executed.

          1. Several typos above, sorry. “no safety car while kimi was on supers and Vettel was on ultras,” e.g.

            1. I think your missing the whole strategy element of F1.

              Not sure who’s commentary you listen to but in the uk and on sky especially they often comment about drivers piting and how important it is that their teams ensure the drivers come out in clean air to mitigate against under/over cuts.

              No team is stupid enough to deliberately pit their car and not know it’ll emerge in traffic, even with the potential for a SC on the cards they wouldn’t have done it if they wanted that car to win. If a SC is called and the cars are in the window then it’s an automatic pit and stack both cars if need be.
              Ferrari deliberately pitted Kimi in full knowledge he’d emerge behind button and co, the only reason for that is to swap their drivers.

              You can be sure that in the same situation except Seb was 4th they would not have pitted Kimi knowing he’d emerge into traffic. It would never have happened.

              http://www.skysports.com/f1/news/12433/10897157/the-2017-monaco-gp-did-traffic-lose-the-race-for-kimi-raikkonen-or-did-sebastian-vettels-fast-laps-win-it

      2. This is as simple as covering both strategies with both drivers to win the race. We’d be having a much different conversation right now had Ricciardo won the race because of safety car after they pitted Vettel the lap immediately after Raikkonen.

    4. I’m kind of in the middle on this.

      On the one hand I believe Kimi and Arrivabene. This was not a ‘massage’ or a subtle way of getting SV ahead like Brundle immediately defaulted to.

      But both Kimi and Arrivabene are
      making clear the math may dictate a different approach and if so it will be understandable.

      LH and Brundle et al are, I think, merely forecasting the inevitable as they see it. And let’s be honest. Ferrari of all teams famously and unabashedly do play the one rooster game better than them all. Will even contract a subservient to not compete.

      So in a way it can seem a bit rich for Ferrari to feign surprise at suspicions about Monaco, while it is somewhat understandable to hear from the other side that there was good reason to be.

      I’d say it’s likely a bit of semantics. Let’s believe Ferrari for now, just as they themselves make it sound like it is for now, and agree that LH and MB are not far off base and will be vindicated for their opinions in a number of races, likely.

      1. It helps viewing figures and masks a crap race

    5. Arrivabane can say all the things he wants but we all know their focus was winning the race and preferrably with vettel 1st. It is kinda funny how when this kind of thing happens it is always vettel that ends up ahead of kimi. Sure if there were no focus to get vettel ahead of kimi then kimi might finish ahead sometimes too? But no. I don’t really get why they go about these pretending games. Just say it and get on with it. Everybody knows ferrari is the most clear example of number 1 and number 2 driver policy and it has been like this for decades and decades.

      It was not a team order in the sense that kimi was instructed to let vettel by but I think it was clear vettel always gets the better strategy just so vettel can get ahead. Some of kimi’s strategies have been awful but for some reason that rarely happens with vettel. We have all heard in the radio kimi protesting when these things happen but for reason they just keep happening in every race..

      Only reason I can see is that ferrari are pretending to not have team orders just to make mercedes hesitant to have clear team orders as well. Hoping that will help vettel. But merc is already putting all the new bits on hamilton’s car and he still can’t finish ahead bottas so I dunno. Bottas had a costly spin earlier this season and with his engine gone it is looking bad for him. And hamilton’s driving has been spotty.

      1. @socksolid
        “It is kinda funny how when this kind of thing happens it is always vettel that ends up ahead of kimi.”

        Like in Spain 2016?

        1. The only big difference between the two occasions is that Vettel and Ricciardo were actually faster in that race as well despite finishing behind.

      2. @socksolid Ok but from what Kimi has just said on this it seems to me his perspective is that it is up to him and his side of the garage to ‘simply’ be faster and better so he stays ahead. He lagged behind starting at the beginning of the season, knows it, isn’t making excuses, and will continue to try to be the guy leading SV and the whole grid, not the other way around.

      3. Even Horner said that this incident was the same as SPAIN 2016, only it was with the drivers other way around.

        This has gotten really ridiculous.

    6. I’m “laughing” at so many nonsensical comments, Kimi just wasn’t as fast as Vettel

      1. Exactly! If Vettel was on pole he would have been pulling away all race and there wouldn’t be such rubbish talk. Vettel is just faster, and has again proved it every race this year. He even has had to overtake Kimi with no help from Kimi in earlier races this year.

    7. Regardless of the Monaco incident, it’s been obvious that Ferrari have always had a number 1 driver policy. Ever since I’ve been following F1, I’ve seen Ferrari favour just one driver in their team. I just don’t understand why they feel like denying it constantly.

      The only seasons where they were confused about their #1 driver policy was probably 2007 and 2008. It was only at the end of 2007 where they put their weight behind Kimi, and it was around halfway through 2008 where they put all their weight behind Massa.

      1. Arad (@just-an-fan)
        10th June 2017, 12:21

        Haha yes, you are right, they backed Schumacher, and they did some really unnecessary team orders….etc But whatever Ferrari has done is not as embarrassing and humiliating as what Mclaren, or mercedes did/doing. Do you want me to name some shamefully bold incidents at Mclaren or Mercedes??

        1. It’s not even remotely the same and you know it.

          Were not talking about the lead car holding up the other car and thereby jeopardizing a race result. Or a team mistake which cost a driver the lead which the drivers on track are asked to correct.

          The only really shameful thing McLaren did was to make sure that Alonso won in Monaco in 2007. They were incredibly lucky to get away without penalty for that one.

          1. How old are you? McLaren used clear 1/2 policy even in 70s. Senna/Berger – clear 1/2, Hakkinen/Coulthard – the same. Melbourne 1998, Jerez 1997 etc.

          2. @patrickl
            So far this season, the only driver who has benefited from team orders and #1 driver policy is Hamilton.

        2. @just-an-fan

          I’m not denying that other teams haven’t used team orders. Heck, it’s a part of the sport. I’m saying that Ferrari does it the most blatantly, and then denies it.

          I don’t see how informing me about other teams instances of using team orders really helps your cause of saying Ferrari doesn’t use them. Try and focus on the point made in the comment.

      2. @todfod

        The only seasons where they were confused about their #1 driver policy was probably 2007 and 2008. It was only at the end of 2007 where they put their weight behind Kimi, and it was around halfway through 2008 where they put all their weight behind Massa.

        Nope. Massa just wasn’t as talented as Alonso and Raikkonen just isn’t as talented as Vettel. Ferrari’s so-called #1 driver policy is a complete myth. One of their drivers simply isn’t as good as the other. It’s not hard to grasp.

        1. @kingshark
          They wouldn’t hire a Kimi or Felipe unless they had a #1 driver policy. They would have had an Alonso-Vettel line up.

          1. @todfod
            Back in 2013 Raikkonen was wildly considered one of the best drivers on the grid. Ferrari could not have predicted that he’d be that much slower than Alonso or Vettel. And if Alonso wanted to stay at Ferrari, they probably would have had an Alonso-Vettel duo.

            Mercedes themselves avoided hiring Alonso and hired a safer option in Bottas instead.

    8. If it were any other track than Monaco we wouldn’t be hearing this.

      Vettel isn’t one to sit behind his teammate all race and think about the constructors.
      Turkey 2010, Multi 21 and China 2017 comes to mind.

      1. What about China 2017?

      2. Turkey 2010 happened because they tried to pull a fast one on Webber. They told Webber to tune his engine down and at the same time they told Vettel he had a few laps with extra boost to go for an overtake.

        Vettel (and Helmut Marko) seemed under the assumption that Webber was told to let him past and was annoyed that Webber didn’t do so. So he decided to make his anger known by wildly swerving across the track. While Webber rightly felt abused by the dirty trick that was being pulled on him and therefore defended to the maxium.

        Pretty much the same trick which Ferrari pulled in Germany when they told Massa to tune down and Alonso to boost for an overtake.

    9. Adam (@rocketpanda)
      10th June 2017, 12:36

      SkyF1 really have been intolerable over this issue – like they won’t let it go. The hypocrisy of it is nearly insulting with them clearly fine when Mercedes throw Bottas under the bus to help Hamilton but apparently it’s terrible that Ferrari would favour the driver actually leading the championship. Like, bias much? The ridiculous part is there’s no evidence Ferrari used team-orders – unlike Mercedes who have and admitted it!

      Arrivabene says it’s not true, Vettel says it’s not true – even Raikkonen, who is known to not mince his words says it’s not true. What is true is that Raikkonen had the chance to make a gap with a clear track and didn’t do it – and ended up backing both of them into Bottas/Ricciardo. If he’d disappeared down the road when he had the chance he’d never have pitted into the middle of traffic – but he did, and Vettel jumped him – which nobody seemed to think would work anyway. Even Wolff and Horner said they didn’t see team-orders. I really like Raikkonen and it’s great to see him at the front again but in this instance he lost it himself.

      Like it it go, SkyF1. It’s over.

      1. The thing is that Raikkonen didn’t lose it himself. It was a poor strategic call which Ferrari made for him. Again to his detriment.

        Although I agree that it was probably caused more by incompetence of the strategy people rather than intent. The same happened at Red Bull where Verstappen suffered from the same mistake and Ricciardo benefited.

        1. Yes the strategy team told Kimi to dawdle around behind back markers and lose 7 or so seconds before pitting, they should be sacked

      2. I remember every time Sky team has seen Toto this season, they’ve campaigned for him to make Hamilton Number 1.

        SkyF1 has a bunch of ridiculous people on board that comes up with the most idiotic things for their soap opera narrative.

    10. God is this so hard to comprehend for some?? Never mind everything else, if they pitted Vettel the next lap after they pitted Raikkonen and there came a VSC, Ricciardo would have won the race. Now that’d be very stupid of Ferrari.

    11. I can’t stand the arrogance of this man. Ferrari ooze passion until he walks into the room.

    12. the picture with this article must not be current as the Leader of the Ferrari team started with a wee touch of grey hair about 3 years and now he has a tiny, tiny touch of black hair…….. tough job no doubt. Thanks, Racer Norriski

      1. If you click on the image you can see where it’s from, and as you can see it’s from this weekend!

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