Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has hit-back at Mercedes for their comments on his team’s driver situation, suggesting they should focus on their own business.
Speaking in May about the Scuderia’s decision to part-ways with four-time Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel at the end of 2020 season, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff expressed surprise his rivals decided to make the move prior to the season even starting.
Asked about these comments in an interview with La Stampa, Binotto explained it was taken with consideration for his driver in mind, while implying Wolff was not extending his own drivers the same courtesy.
“Regarding our driver decision, I’m glad Mercedes always has opinions about us,” he said. “I’m surprised they haven’t signed the contract with Hamilton yet too. We would have done it much sooner. We decided this out of a sense of transparency towards Seb.
“He must think about his future, we could not delay the decision. Our choice was fair to him and gives us credit. If Seb went to Mercedes, I would be happy for him. He is a 4-time world champion and he deserves a top team.”
In addition, Binotto criticised Wolff’s decision to oppose the trial of reverse-grid qualifying races in Austria and Britain, something the rest of the grid was on-board for.
“I am disappointed, we missed a good opportunity here. If you race the same Grand Prix twice, like in Austria and England, the risk is that the second race will be a repeat of the first one.
“I am very sorry, but we have all made compromises during this period. We thought of a different format, there was the idea of a reverse grid race and the FIA including 9 out of 10 teams agreed to it.
“It only took one team to block the proposal. A real shame for the fans and for our sport”