Ferrari – No team orders


Given the micro management by World Champions Mercedes AMG F1 of their drivers, the Formula One team most famous for controlling the on track positioning of its cars could be forced into more extreme measures than they have previously taken.

In the Silver Arrows motorhome, an army of stenographers updates the driver schedules, almost by the minute. It is said, the schedule which the drivers care most about – is the one which schedules who gets final pooping preferences before each on track session.

Yet Ferrari after years of obsessive control of its drivers – particularly the number two – Ferrari are maybe entering a new era of freedom and laisse faire. As the new dawn breaks over Maranello, the air is fresher, the Tuscan produce tastes a sweeter and Mr. Good Hello’s Bon Homie is being spread abroad with gay abandon.

Three races in and already questions began in the paddock this weekend of Ferrari and even Mercedes employing a number one/two driver policy. The Schumacher era more than any other in Formula One history defines what this policy means, though Felipe Massa was the most recent of the red team’s drivers to feel the pain of being forced to surrender his position on track in favour of a team mate.

Following the Chinese GP, Maurizio Arrivabene explained his position with regards to team orders under his reign at Ferrari. “When I arrived in Maranello [as team principal] I saw the old rules of engagement, and I made ​​some changes in the presence of both drivers and their race engineers”.

Arrivabene confirms there is to be no driver preference, despite the fact that Sebastian has already accumulated 55 points to Kimi’s 24. “Everyone is free to make his run.”

When probed on the matter of team orders, Maurizio retorted, “I do not want to hear about team orders”.

This is smart driver management by the Scuderia’s new boss, because it would be easy for Kimi to feel isolated, lose motivation and thus reduce the challenge Ferrari hopes to bring to Mercedes.

Further, in an era where reliability is once again an issue, it would just take a couple of difficult weekends for Vettel to see Kimi up there with him in terms of number of points scored.

Also as the Mercedes ‘rules of engagement’ on track encyclopaedia become ever more complex whilst the window where Lewis and Nico are allowed to race gets smaller – Ferrari now provide a glimmer of hope the fans can watch at least two cars do battle properly – rather than a stage managed Sunday afternoon dawdle.

11 responses to “Ferrari – No team orders

  1. “This is smart driver management by the Scuderia’s new boss”

    Yeah, I’m not buying that this is Maurizio’s initiative. If anything, this sounds like the hand of Marchionne…

    • …and it will only last until Ferrari start winning regularly and are ready for a title challenge. Merc was a happy place until they started having a title-winning car.

  2. So, basically he also says that in 2014, the drivers in Ferrari were not treated equally, i.e. Alonso getting a preferential treatment in many regards.

  3. To be fair, any team that lets its drivers race would inevitably have to throw its weight behind one of the drivers if they became a clear championship contender.

    • It wasn’t quoted here but I read Arrivabene allowed for that situation. Big updates to the car rumored for Spain.

      • Curmudgeon I’m glad you referenced the “rule of mathmatics”, as it was an important part of what Arrivavenen said.

        The missing quote was originally, “L’unica regola in vigore è quella della matematica: fino a quando non sarà la classifica a dare torto ad uno dei due piloti, ognuno sarà libero di fare la sua corsa».”

        Google’s translation engine warps that into, “The only rule in force is that of mathematics: as long as it will not be wrong to give the ranking in one of the two drivers, everyone is free to make his run.”

        So is the news of this Autosprint article that neither Kimi nor Seb have “No. 1” preference in their contracts? (Or what exactly?)

        Candidly, I’m a bit perplexed as to what exactly the “regola matematica” would be. I guess it would help if the team’s goals were understood clearly.

        My understanding of Ferrari’s historical strategic goal is:
        1) Driver’s championship
        2) Constructor’s championship
        (…and in this order.)

        How close is my understanding? What are the team’s overall specific goals?

        Are the team’s goals more narrow, such as win the WDC, nothing else matters? Or wider, such as maximize WDC, and win races, for example?

        • The contrast to the team goal of winning the Drivers Championship (WDC) is the team goal winning the Constructors Championship (WCC).

          This WCC goal enables team-mates to fight each other straight-up for position in almost all situations as long as they don’t take their team-mate out of the race. But those same drivers have a disadvantage when fighting for the WDC against a driver whose team’s goal is to win the WDC.

  4. Perhaps they are just trying to remove the notion of a number one and number 2 driver. That way whomever has a shot at the title will receive the support of the other driver.

    It’s probably just BS marketing speak though.

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