Sebastian Vettel is not Ferrari’s number one driver, according to team boss Maurizio Arrivabene and for that reason there were no team orders in Canada which might have bolstered the German drivers’ title aspirations.
Earlier, the Italian said one of the first things he told Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen in 2015 is that the hierarchical days of Schumacher and Alonso are over.
That is despite Arrivabene leaving Montreal on Sunday admitting his anger with Raikkonen following a spin that cost Ferrari a sure podium.
The Finn argued that an engine setting caused the spin, but Arrivabene charged: “We have thrown away a podium, that’s the truth. There are no excuses.”
Raikkonen ultimately finished fourth, and just a few seconds in front of teammate Sebastian Vettel, who had impressively charged through the field from the back.
Arrivabene, however, said he never considered ordering Vettel past Raikkonen, even though it is the German who is the closest rival to the Mercedes drivers in the championship.
Asked if he thought about team orders in Canada, Arrivabene insisted: “No, not at all, we did not speak about it. We made it clear before the season that both drivers have a free run.”
He said that might change if the situation in the championship was closer, “We have to keep our feet on the ground. Our goal has not changed.
“We have said that if we win twice this year, then we can be satisfied. We must not forget where we came from — we have never talked about the world title.”
In that way, Arrivabene – although initially angry after Montreal – said he is happy with how the upgraded engine performed in Canada.
“Yes. We achieved what we wanted to,” he said. “We have to admit that they (Mercedes) are simply stronger than us at the moment. It is not realistic to say that we have closed the gap to Mercedes, but we are on the right track.”