Vettel: No need for team orders at Ferrari yet

2017 Italian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel says it isn’t necessary for Ferrari to impose team orders and denied Kimi Raikkonen has helped him in races this year.

Vettel has a seven-point lead over Lewis Hamilton at the top of the championship but Raikkonen is lagging 92 points adrift.

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Ferrari’s handling of their drivers in Monaco and Hungary prompted claims they have been favouring Vettel as their strongest driver in the championship.

But speaking in today’s FIA press conference Vettel said: “I think Kimi and myself have been racing each other the whole year.”

“I read or I heard after the Hungarian Grand Prix he was ‘protecting’ me. I think if you speak to him he can make it pretty clear. I don’t think he was leaving anything behind.”

“If he’d had the opportunity properly to pass me I think he’d have tried. “And that’s fair enough. I think it would have been the same the other way around. I think we’re racing obviously for the team, we’re both trying to do our best.”

However Vettel said drivers need to keep their responsibilities towards their teams in mind.

“If it happens that you race for the same spot you might meet yourselves on track as these guys [Force India team mates Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez] have proven. You’re both fighting for yourself but your also fighting for the team so it’s something you need to keep in the back of your mind.”

“I don’t know what other teams are doing but for us I think we both go flat out and then see what happens. You can always talk about a lot of things, scenarios and so on, but it always turns out to be a bit different.”

2017 Italian Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    39 comments on “Vettel: No need for team orders at Ferrari yet”

      1. Dwrl dwl lol yeah, sure, anything you say Sébastien

      2. I do at the press. This season I can’t recall any instance where Kimi let Seb through or where the team deliberately forced Vet through Kimi.
        I think it’s laughable how many times Ferrari almost had to think about team orders but got bailed out, they haven’t been tested yet this season, generally Kimi gets hit on a start or has some sort of problem. I wonder what it will happen and how painfully open is the order going to be. The canadian GP is a good example as Kimi suffered a brake problem just when Seb was getting to his rear.

        1. Kimi DID let Seb through this year already @peartee, but mainly the team has used Kimi’s strategy to make sure he does not get in Sebs way the whole year (one example is Monaco). And it has used him (with the strategy they gave him) to hurt Vettels competitors (see Austria for an example) with most of the time detrimental effect to his own finishing position.

          And requesting a driver NOT to attack their team mate (as we last saw in Hungary) is also using team orders by the way.
          It really is laughable to try and uphold that things are equal for the Ferraris drivers. Seb is the first priority and Kimi is there to support his championship challenge.

          Yeah, the Canadian GP brake issue Kimi suffered – funny how these things crop up when needed but then quickly disappear when the swap is done, isn’t it (other teams have used/use similar things too, off course)

    1. He doesn’t know what Ferrari told to Kimi behind the doors. Vettel is either lying or he is stupid. I know he is not stupid so you can guess. Kimi was asking the team if he may overtake vettel and he didn’t get green light, so he remained. Ah, forget it. Ferrari should do it, Mercedes should do it, but Vettel saying such nonsense …

      1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
        31st August 2017, 16:28

        Never change, Michael, aka “freelittlebirds”.

      2. Marian Gri (@)
        31st August 2017, 16:51

        When he said his car was faster (did he really say that? cause I missed this part) last weekend, you believed him in a heartbeat. Now, he’s a liar or stupid. The only variable here is you, HAM fans. There was absolutely no moment this season when one could say 110% that RAI is no.2… yet some claim loud and clear that there’s no.1 and no.2 status at Ferrari, then we had like 4-5 moments clear as daylight involving Mercedes drivers, all moments favouring HAM… the same guys claimed there’s no favouritism at Mercedes, the drivers are treated equally. Sorry, reality is, the biggest lies so far are on the HAM/Mercedes side, “Mercedes not being the fastest car this season” being the latest lie. All Ferrari PP and wins were marginal this season, even in Monaco RAI barely beat BOT to the PP by 0.05sec, while Mercedes had multiple races where taking the PPs and the wins was like a walk in the park.

        1. 4-5 moments

          I don’t recall that many (not that many which benefitted HAM in the end, anyway)

        2. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

          They always talk about how important it is for a driver to beat his team mate. How cynical then, that a driver should stand to win this year’s title; not only when, but ‘because’ he never had to fight his team mate. Everything about Ferrari’s operation screams cynicism, from their history of team orders to their acceptance of prize money before a race has even been run.

          I don’t support any particular driver, I follow F1 because I care about motorsport, but caring about (what’s in the spirit of) motorsport makes it impossible not to have a distaste for Scuderia Ferrari.

          Hungary was a travesty, with Raikkönen being hailed as a great champion by his paymasters – for a second place finish – not long after which his contract was renewed.

      3. There’s no indefensible proof that there was team orders at play. If it was possible for Kimi to overtake Vettel, then why couldn’t Hamilton overtake him? It’s the nature of the circuit – with the slipstream having less of an effect and more turbulent air this year, it’s harder to overtake – and Hungary was never the easiest place to overtake on anyway.
        Then at Monaco, the other one, Vettel was simply quicker. It probably wouldn’t have even mattered if he overcut or undercut such was the difference. You can argue Kimi got caught up behind backmarkers, but still, Vettel came out clearly ahead. And it looked like pitting first was stronger when they pit Kimi, as Verstappen was much closer to Bottas than he was before he pitted, using the undercut.
        And I much prefer Raikkonen to Vettel. Of course, Ferrari prefer Vettel right now, but I’m not entirely sure they’ve used team orders. It’s possible, yes, but it’s just as possible that they haven’t.

    2. he must be the only person in F1 that believes there’s no team orders at Ferrari, or a complete and utter liar…lol

    3. Vettel trolling 😂

    4. Mercedes is doing team orders since the first race in Australia when asked Bottas (who was faster than Hamilton in the last part of the race) not to attack Lewis. I see nothing wrong if Ferrari ‘ll do the same.

      1. Didnt you see hamilton hand the place back in hungary while kimi had to defend vettels ass

        1. Did you see Bottas hand the place to Hamilton in Bahrain ?

        2. Marian Gri (@)
          31st August 2017, 17:13

          Mmmm, he gave the place back cause he promised to gave it back in case nothing works! Nothing worked, so he gave the place back. Then, if he would have passed any of the Ferraris in HUN, how would you name that? Plus, he had like no chances against RAI, it was very similar to HAM vs VET in Spa: he kept RAI within range, but couldn’t mount any passing maneouver. So, I think VET would have managed to keep HAM behind in HUN, with or without RAI help, exactly the same way HAM did at Spa.

      2. Honestly I think Ferrari have just been lucky they haven’t been forced to do it, the only thing I resembling team orders I saw Ferrari doing was this weekend, kimi staying a lap extra on track so that he could bother Hamilton for a couple corners. I think Mercedes haven’t let their cars race at all, the team boasts about letting them drive but it was Lewis and Nico’s defiance that led to the Mercs racing.

    5. Ferrari did screw up Kimi strategy wise couple of time and to someone hoping to see Kimi on top of podium it really hurts.
      But unlike Hamilton, Vettel never once had his teammate instructed to give up his position.

      1. Agreed, that’s the point. Even if subtle, the difference is all there.

    6. petebaldwin (@)
      31st August 2017, 17:22

      Why lie? I don’t get it…. I get why Toto lies to try and improve the brand image for Mercedes but this one makes no sense. Team orders are legal and we all know Ferrari use them regularly.

      1. Because this way Kimi is not second to Seb. Who knows what happens behind the curtain, maybe it was Kimi himself asking the team “Ok, I know the story, guys. If I have to give road to Seb, just screw up my strategy”. Or maybe even if legal they don’t want another “Let Michael pass for the championship” which, even from a tifoso point of view, an absolute shame.

    7. Kimi would’ve been stupid to ruin his and Sebs race with an overambitious overtake attempt in Hungary. But saying that Ferrari doesn’t favor Vettel is just not true. With the right strategy Kimi would’ve won Hungary… pitting just one lap after Seb? Either his race engineer is an idiot or Ferrari clearly wanted Seb to take the win. But you know what? As a big Ferrari fan and an even bigger Kimi fan I say: that was the right thing to do. Kimi messed up the first few races and lost all his chances for winning the title. I’d rather see Vettel win the title instead of seeing Kimi scoring a win this year. Let’s face it: this season is over for Kimi in terms of winning the WDC. Maybe he gets a chance next year.

      1. Honestly, and I hope Kimi wins at least a race this year, it’s easier to say with hindsight. During the race, before the pit stops, Bottas was over 8.5 seconds behind Kimi (lap 30). By the time they both had pitted (lap 34), Bottas was 3.5 seconds behind Kimi. He was gaining over a second per lap and surely the engineers were seeing this. So, as I see it, their options were:

        – Leave Kimi out and risk an undercut from Bottas (and arguably Hamilton, a second behind his teammate, if something went wrong at the pit stop) so Kimi might have a chance to overtake Vettel.
        – Pit Kimi, ensure he came out in front of Bottas and get a much better chance for a 1-2 for Ferrari.

        Again, Kimi was 1.4 seconds behind Vettel when Vettel pitted (lap 31). By lap 34, Kimi came out of the pits 1.1 seconds behind Vettel. It’s obvious that Vettel wasn’t “undercutting” him, but it doesn’t look like Kimi was gaining enough to get out in front, even if he had had 3 more laps to try the overcut.

        All information taken from

    8. I guessI shall stand alone on this issue too. I believe SV. I believe that when we have seen KR look ticked, he was indeed disappointed in himself. I do not believe KR is the type to act as someone’s number 2 until, as he himself has spelled out, the math only makes sense. I believe an interview with Kimi today would have him admitting he had every chance Seb did at the start of the year, and simply didn’t take advantage.

      1. digitalrurouni
        31st August 2017, 18:39

        Yep definitely alone on this issue.

      2. Nope. Seb agrees with you. You are not alone, bro.
        You have a 4-time F1-champion on your side.

        1. @svianna, of course, the problem here is that same driver is also the one who stands to benefit from the team giving him favourable treatment – and how often in the past, even when a team has been rather obviously been favouring one driver over another, has the driver being given favourable treatment ever been happy to say they were getting favourable treatment?

    9. Joke of the day..

      1. LOL! Made me laugh, too!

      2. I read or I heard after the Hungarian Grand Prix he was ‘protecting’ me. I think if you speak to him he can make it pretty clear. I don’t think he was leaving anything behind.

        Whatever floats your boat Sebastian. If it wasn’t for team orders and your selection of a #2 driver, it would be 2014 all over again.

    10. The biggest, most effective ‘team order’ of them all is the fact – that both of them are aware of – that one driver is there to challenge for the title, while the other is there to keep the first guy happy, make up the numbers and get in the way if he can.

    11. Because there is a mutual understanding between Vettel and Kimi xD,

      what a good fan I am !

    12. No need for team orders, alright… especially since it’s already understood!

      1. Let’s be realistic. You don’t sign a contract with Ferrari leaving this things out or to the fate. It’s not Force India. Everything we see is the theatrical version we’re supposed to watch, the reality is written on those documents and accepted by all the parts.

    13. The handwringing over orders at Ferrari is pretty funny. Folks must think both Ferrari and Mercedes are run by idiots. Both favor their lead driver. So far Mercedes is the only team that has actually instructed drivers to swap (and in Hungary, I give HAM massive kudos for re-swapping, something you’d never see Verstappen or Perez do). But in Baku, it was interesting that HAM asked Merc to have Bottas slow in an effort to slow VET so he (HAM) could have a chance at passing. I haven’t heard a similar request by VET.

      If RAI wants to win he needs to do what BOT has done – win by being far ahead. In the two races he’s won, he either was on pole or was in P1 at the first corner. Lewis each time was hanging down in 4th.

      The bigger picture is really this – the teams want to win the WDC and the WCC. That’s the goal, not the individual glory of any one driver. Fans going on and on about how unfair things are just demonstrate their own ignorance. Let’s say Ferrari allows Kimi the overcut on Vettel in Hungary? Everything else being the same, Vettel and Hamilton are now equal on points. Let’s say because Vet is second, Ham doesn’t give back P3. Today, Hamilton is 3 points ahead of Vettel in the WDC.

      Let’s say Ferrari doesn’t give Vettel the chance at the overcut in Monaco, Vettel has 7 fewer points and is today, 10 points behind Hamilton. Going into Monza.

      Hey, but Kimi gets a win! (Though, if Ferrari doesn’t give Vet an opportunity at the overcut in Monaco, we’d have to say that Ferrari wouldn’t give Kimi the overcut opportunity at Hungary). So now Kimi is on 1 win for the season, and Vettel is 3 points behind Hamilton going into Monza.

      This is the same Kimi who couldn’t be bothered to lift fractionally for double yellows and lost a likely P3 in Spa. More egregious at SPA was his reasoning “ah, the car was behind a barrier…”

      So yeah, Kimi, get a Merc in-between you and Vet while in P1, victory is yours. Get far enough ahead of Vet in P1 while he’s in P2. Represent. Need team orders just to get you in with an outside chance of winning? Not impressed. Not impressed by the arguments suggesting Ferrari should do that, or are somehow being mean or unfair to Kimi because they aren’t. I mean, the dude’s down below Ricciardo in the standings. I’m sorry, that doesn’t cut it for sympathy.

      Having said that, he’s a great driver for Ferrari, for his feedback and his stability and his ability to bring the car home and do what needs to be done.

    14. Hahahaha, Vettel needs his team mate and FIA (Baku) to even get a shot at the title… #notoneofthegreats

      1. Still leading the championship in an inferior car. But I agree that’s more down to Hamilton’s shocking inconsistency that also saw him lose 2016.

    15. Hahahaha, Like Hamilton can only win a championship with a car advantage when battling a number 2 driver for the championship.

    16. Ha Ha Ha – Team orders came in as soon as Seb joined Ferrari!

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