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Montezemolo defends Mercedes strategy

NEWS STORY
04/09/2018

As the Italian media turns on Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari, still unable to come to terms with the fact that Sunday's race was theirs to lose... which they did, former company president Luca di Montezemolo has defended Mercedes strategy during the race.

Much of the media criticism of Ferrari, isn't so much about Sebastian Vettel's error on the first lap but the failure to use team orders over the course of the weekend, both in terms of the race and during qualifying when Kimi Raikkonen took a surprise pole.

On the other hand, Mercedes used Valtteri Bottas to deliberately hold up Raikkonen after Lewis Hamilton's pit stop on lap 28, a tactic which allowed the Briton to catch the Ferrari and subsequently pass it for the win.

Defending Ferrari's strategy, Maurizio Arrivabene told Gazetta dello Sport: "We employ racing drivers, not butlers. A team order from the start would have been dangerous and crazy". However Montezemolo insists this is nonsense.

"We won a few championships this way when I was the chairman and CEO," said the Italian, who oversaw Niki Lauda's wins in the 70s and the subsequent 'golden era' of Schumacher and Raikkonen, "with Kimi and Felipe Massa, with Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher, with Michael and Eddie Irvine.

"This is part of the history," he told BBC Sport. "And Bottas did not make anything incorrect or a foul. He made his race.

"When I heard the criticism, this is normal. In life it is difficult to win, but it is more difficult to accept when you don't win. So, yesterday I was not happy for what I have seen.

"Mercedes made its job. If I was in charge of Ferrari in the same condition as Mercedes, I would make exactly the same choice. So, finito."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Mad Matt, 05/09/2018 11:31

"Given all of the dubious behaviour Ferrari exhibited during the periods he mentions I'm not sure he can really speak from the moral high ground :-)

On the other hand he's got a point and I agree that using Bottas wasn't so terrible although I hope we don't see this kind of tactic used too heavily or too often.

"

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2. Posted by ESTMPRFT, 04/09/2018 18:16

"Excellent and honest comment, made here. No insinuation that Mercedes did something dishonest or underhanded."

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