Sauber are convinced there will not be a repeat of the Monaco fiasco when Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr collided after the latter ignored team orders.
Battling for position around the streets of the Principality, Nasr was ordered to move over and allow Ericsson through. He didn’t.
Ericsson took matters into his own hands and made a lunging move on his team-mate that resulted in two damaged Saubers. Both drivers retired soon after.
In an open letter to their fans, the Hinwil team said: “What happened is unacceptable.
The commentators of German broadcaster RTL put it like this: The crash was Marcus’ fault as he caused it with a risky manoeuvre. And it was Felipe’s responsibility as he should have listened to the team and shouldn’t have closed the door on his teammate.
“A team is a team.
“We all know football (or soccer, for our American friends). Right, F1 is not football but here’s an analogy which we hope will help to understand our point of view. Can we all agree that in football, what counts is the best possible result for the club… for the team? It doesn’t really matter who scores: as long as the team wins, everyone wins.
“Where does that leave us?
“Simple. We win together, we lose together.
“Many of you argue that team orders aren’t good for the sport and that we should just let our drivers race freely. We agree, but while this is true most of the time and it is what we do as much as possible, it is imperative to always look at the bigger picture and ask: ‘What is better for the team?’
“Some of you have said that you don’t understand why we even bothered to give a team order running in positions 15 and 16. Well, with every position gained, we are that much closer to points. And even without scoring any points, any higher position in a race can potentially mean keeping the position in the Constructors’ Championship (or, vice versa, a drop in positions).
“We are all racers. But the team’s overall interest will always be more important than that of any individual.
“Remember the days when team orders were given in secret codes and the fans didn’t have a clue about what was going on? We very much prefer today’s open communication.”
Having spoken with both drivers, the team added that they are confident there won’t be a repeat of the Monaco incident while thanking everyone at Sauber for their hard work during these “trying” times.
“We have analysed what happened; we have discussed it with Marcus and Felipe, and we all agree that this must never happen again. Everyone at the factory in Hinwil, as well as the drivers, now focus on the next race in Montreal. We’re all looking forward to racing soon again, as a team.
“We’d like to thank all of you who support our team and our drivers. We share your passion and we appreciate your commitment and engagement! And we thank each and every member of this team who is still giving it their very best on a daily basis during these trying times. Sacrificing for a shared dream is what keeps us going.
“Let us close off in team radio lingo: “Copy?”