Maurizio Arrivabane issued a sideswipe to Mercedes and Valtteri Bottas after Lewis Hamilton pipped Kimi Raikkonen to victory at the Italian Grand Prix, saying Ferrari would not treat one of their drivers like a "butler". Bottas was utilised to back Raikkonen into Hamilton at Monza, crucial in the world champions' win.
Having played out what Toto Wolff labelled a "sensational wing man" performance to help Hamilton edge Ferrari in Hungary earlier this year, Bottas was once again deployed as his teammate's rear gunner at Monza.
Ferrari left Bottas out on his opening stint to collect Raikkonen and keep his pace controlled after Hamilton pitted. The move backed Raikkonen into Hamilton and also shredded the Ferrari's tyres, helping the Brit make his decisive move with eight laps to go.
Raikkonen had started on pole ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who finished fourth after a lap-one collision with Hamilton, with Ferrari's hesitance to favour the German put under the microscope - but Arrivabene defended his team's tactics.
"We hire drivers, not butlers, even if we wanted to give the order to the team it would have been impossible, it is very dangerous and crazy to give it at the start, if possible in the course of the race," Arrivabene told Sky Sports.
"Defending on two opponents is not easy, do you have any orders for a Ferrari team?
"I know what we have to do, I do not want to criticise others."
Vettel slipped 30 points behind Hamilton with seven races to go, while Ferrari are 25 points adrift of Mercedes in the constructors' standings.
"The car is not inferior to the Mercedes, we must not give up, now it is important to analyse the data and understand what happened," Arrivabene said.
"The gap of 30 points in the drivers and 20 in the constructors is a lot but if you go out of the track are 25 points that fly away.
"The reliability will be very important and above all the determination, we must work focused on our objectives and stay calm."
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