“Mercedes always have an opinion”- Ferrari Boss Mattia Binotto takes a dig at Toto Wolff after he made comments on Sebastian Vettel.
Ferrari has had a change of personnel in the driver’s grid for 2021. They have decided to release four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel after this season.
Youngster Carlos Sainz will be taking over the red-hot Ferrari seat from next year. This was expected to happen as Charles Leclerc was the Italian team’s priority, as Ferrari aim to get back to their glory days.
But what surprised many was the timing of the announcement of Vettel departing. He knows 2020 is his last at Ferrari even before this season has seen the green light. Similarly, Sainz knows he will race for the Italian outfit next season, but he is currently a McLaren driver.
Arch-rivals Mercedes decided to weigh on this matter. Team Principal Toto Wolff claimed he was surprised at the speed at which the driver’s switch was done for 2021.
“It was all unusual (at Ferrari and McLaren). But that the new driver pairing was already ahead of the season, just like McLaren, is something we wouldn’t do.” Wolff said it to Auto Motor und Sport.
And as you would have expected, Ferrari F1 Boss Mattia Binotto gave his opinion on it. ”I’m glad Mercedes always has an opinion about us.” said a sarcastic Binotto in conversation with La Stampa.
He added that the early announcement was done because they wanted to be open and transparent. ”I’m surprised they haven’t offered Hamilton a new contract yet. I would have done that a lot sooner. That’s what we did to Vettel on purpose, so we can be open and honest.”
Sebastian’s rumoured switch to Mercedes
When asked what if Vettel decided to switch to Mercedes, Binotto had this to say. ”It’s a four-time world champion and he deserves to ride in a top team. If he would go to Mercedes, then I’m only happy for him.”
Mercedes are the frontrunners to sign Vettel if they do decide to get him on board. It seems highly unlikely though, with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas already having a formidable partnership at Mercedes.
A ‘sabbatical’ for Vettel is being touted, and trending amongst F1 circles. If he does decide to take a year off, Ferrari would hope that Sebastian gives his best this season. And more importantly for Binotto, has a seamless ride with Vettel over the oft-controversial ‘team orders’.