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Ferrari explain Vettel-Leclerc team orders decision

Ferrari explain Vettel-Leclerc team orders decision

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Ferrari explain Vettel-Leclerc team orders decision

Ferrari explain Vettel-Leclerc team orders decision

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto believes Charles Leclerc would have won the Belgian Grand Prix with or without the team orders imposed on Sebastian Vettel.

Leclerc secured his maiden grand prix win at Spa-Francorchamps, converting pole position to victory after holding off a late charge from Lewis Hamilton.

Vettel also briefly looked as though he may get in the way of Leclerc after emerging from the first round of pit-stops having jumped his team-mate by stopping six laps earlier.

But Vettel's tyres would not make it to the end and he was ordered aside when Leclerc approached, before going on to stop again and dropping to fourth, with an extra point for setting the fastest lap.

Binotto said: "It is never an easy call, because the drivers are in the car, trying to drive as fast as they can, trying to get as much points for themselves.

"But I think there were not many choices today. We had to anticipate a call and [needed to] pit [Vettel] to protect against Mercedes, otherwise, Hamilton would have stopped and would have overcut.

"Also staying out put Charles in a better position with his tyres. He would have overtaken [Vettel] anyway because of the different strategy.

"They were on different strategies and earlier we swapped, we were losing time. It was the best for the team, and for Charles on that occasion."

The call marked a change at Ferrari, with Vettel often favoured in early-season incidents of team orders, but Binotto believes everyone at the Scuderia has a better handle on the situation.

"At the start of the season, when we at least tried, it was not very well accepted from the outside," Binotto said.

"But since the start, we've always said that the first priority is the team and the team's points.

"Race by race we normally are discussing with the drivers what may be the situation. It is something that we discussed in the morning.

"No doubt after a few races, things become more straightforward. Even when discussing with drivers, the drivers are more understanding."

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