Nico Rosberg is torn as to whether Ferrari made the right call allowing their drivers to race wheel-to-wheel at the Italian Grand Prix as it could’ve cost the team in the Constructors’ Championship.
Ferrari arrived at their home race at Monza fourth in the standings, 54 points behind Mercedes, but left sitting third with the deficit down to 45 points.
It, however, could’ve been a very different story after Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur gave his drivers the go-ahead to race for the final podium position with the two coming close more than once to taking each other out.
Were Ferrari right to allow their drivers to race?
Going at it throughout the final five laps of the grand prix, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc were off the track at various points, they were side-by-side at others, and only narrowly avoided a crash.
Rosberg says his former team boss Toto Wolff would never have allowed that.
Speaking on the Sky Sports podcast about Ferrari’s decision not to impose team orders, the 2016 World Champion said: “Right decision? I mean, that’s a difficult question. For us fans obviously yes. Probably for the Ferrari team, I’m not sure.
“Toto might’ve said, ‘You know, just hold position now’ because are they in a close championship fight in the Constructors’ also? I think they are.
“From that point of view, you might have said hold position because it’s such important points in the attempt to still try and beat Mercedes.
“But yeah, for us it was great.”
Sainz finished third to Leclerc’s fourth with the teammates admitting their antics were “on the limit”, Leclerc even accepting that both were “moving a bit too much under-braking”.
Nico Rosberg’s warning to Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur
Rosberg has urged Vasseur to regain control over the situation before either driver, and here he reckons Leclerc is probably the one who feels most hard done by, seeks “payback”.
He says on Sunday evening he advised Vasseur to sit down with his drivers.
“It was so close to crashing, especially the last one with a very big lock up from Charles. Wow, that was close to crashing,” Rosberg continued.
“I was telling Fred Vasseur after the race that I highly recommend that he asks both drivers to sit down with him because he has the most authority – it’s not the team manager or something, but the boss – and perhaps even goes first with one then with the other and then combined, because then you really get the open story.
“It’s so important to be proactive because otherwise if one driver or the other, in this case, it will mostly be Charles, has a bad feeling it can quickly spiral that he will think at the next race, ‘Hey I’m not going to yield next time or I’m going to do the same next time, I’m gonna get payback’.
“So he definitely has to proactively manage that, and try to be supportive and neutral.”
Rosberg, like the rest of us, would like to be a fly on that wall during those conversations. “It would be nice to be in that room but not possible,” he added.
Vasseur did confirm to the media he would be speaking with his drivers on the Monday after the race but as yet nothing has been said about those talks.