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Mekies: Team orders discussed more outside Ferrari than inside

Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies says the topic of team orders at the Scuderia is one that has been discussed more outside the team than inside the Italian outfit this season.

Charles Leclerc’s early lead over arch-rival Max Verstappen in the Drivers’ standings has progressively swung to an 80-point deficit on the back of reliability issues and Ferrari’s strategy missteps.

But during the first part of the season, a period during which Leclerc outperformed teammate Carlos Sainz, Scuderia boss Mattia Binotto was often queried by the media on the potential use of team orders to help boost the Monegasque’s title chances.

In Hungary, Mekies reiterated Ferrari’s stance on its drivers at the current stage of the season, insisting Leclerc and Sainz remain on equal footing while the topic of team orders is one that is especially discussed by pundits.

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“You’re right in saying that it is more discussed outside Ferrari than inside Ferrari,” Mekies told the media.

“But more seriously, we have always been very clear. We target to have the best result for the team. Ferrari comes first.

“Then of course there will be a point where we will need to focus more on a driver compared to the other one if the championship position is requiring.

“So, it does not mean waiting for the mathematical difference, but it means being at the point of the season where you think it is the right thing to do.”

Ferrari team mates Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in qualifying for the 2022 Azerbaijan Grand Prix. June 11 2022

© Ferrari

Ferrari’s strategy calls have been debated at length this season following several botched plans that cost the team big points at several races.

But in France, the on-air broadcast of a radio call made to Sainz in the heat of the Spaniard’s wheel-to-wheel battle with Red Bull’s Sergio Perez offered a messy image of Ferrari’s communication.

But Mekies said the confusing public perception of the moment was “simply the result of the radio message being broadcast 30 or 40 seconds after what had really happened.”

©Ferrari

“If you had to go back there, you will call Carlos back exactly as we did and do the pit stop exactly as we did, so it just shows how difficult nowadays, in a complex sport, it is to understand the reasons behind a strategy or another,” Mekies explained.

“That being said, we’ve lost quite a few points this year. We have reliability issues, we have a few things that we need to be better at. And yes, we are working extremely hard on it.

“It does not increase the pressure, because the pressure is maximum all the time because it’s a competitive world, and that’s the way we like it anyway.

“But it’s a positive pressure, it’s what pushes us to improve race after race.”

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The post Mekies: Team orders discussed more outside Ferrari than inside appeared first on F1i.com.




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