Carlos Sainz Snr is “curious” why Ferrari’s stance on team orders changed at the Italian Grand Prix, the team giving Charles Leclerc the go-ahead to attack Carlos Sainz for third.
The Ferrari teammates entertained the Tifosi in the final laps at Monza as they at times raced wheel-to-wheel for third place, the two coming ever so close to punting each other out of the race.
It was a ferocious battle, Sainz and Leclerc later accepting it was “on the limit”, with the Spaniard claiming third place by 0.184s ahead of his teammate.
Carlos Sainz spent five laps defending against Charles Leclerc at Monza
Additional reporting by Thomas Maher
Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur justified the call, telling the media including PlanetF1.com: “I think it was also the best way to thank everybody and the support of the Tifosi. I was not very comfortable to freeze something five laps before the end – I trust them, but I told them no risk at all.”
Sainz, though, would’ve preferred not to have to defend for his life against his own teammate but concedes your stance on team orders depends on if you’re the one ahead or the one behind.
“I would have understood it both ways,” he said. “If they would have given team orders, I would have understood, but if I would have been Charles trying to get a podium, obviously I wouldn’t have liked the team orders.
“So it completely depends on the position that you are in. I’m not going to lie, it’s very dependent on a very subjective position or feeling.”
But it was a call that raised questions given that earlier this year Sainz was told to hold station at the Canadian Grand Prix and not attack Leclerc for fourth place. That Sunday, Vasseur said it “would’ve been stupid” to allow his drivers to race.
The same order was issued at the Austrian Grand Prix, again with Sainz the one chasing, with Vasseur saying at the time that it was in the “interests” of the team.
But on Sunday, with Sainz ahead of Leclerc, they were free to race with Sainz Snr drawing attention to the team’s changing stance.
“It’s curious,” SoyMotor quotes the rally legend as having told DAZN. “Sometimes they decide some things, sometimes others.
“It is he who has to ask and understand the strategies, why sometimes they can attack each other and other times not.”
He personally says he’d “prefer it to be like this, without any type of order or anything.”
Sainz Snr knew the ‘movie’ but Leclerc tussle was a plot twist
Nonetheless, the 61-year-old was happy to see his son reach the podium for the first time this season, even if he did lose the Red Bull teammates.
“I more or less knew what the movie was going to be like, except maybe the last laps, which I didn’t expect,” he said. “I knew that the two Red Bulls were going to arrive very strong and that Charles was going to be there.”
“It’s been a weekend to be very happy,” he said, adding that a “podium with Ferrari in Monza is a very good result.”
The Spaniard hopes the Monza result is still the start of a strong conclusion to the season for Ferrari and his son.
“To continue fighting and improving, which is what is needed. Not only here in Monza, but in other races,” he said. “Hard for sure.
“At the same time, I think it has been a special weekend for his sporting career because of how he has developed everything and they are those weekends that I like, that when I say it, that has sent a good message.”
Ferrari’s 3-4 finish at the Italian Grand Prix saw the team leapfrog Aston Martin to sit third in the Constructors’ Championship.