Ferrari Team Principal Frederic Vasseur says Ferrari would’ve been “stupid” not to use team orders during the Canadian Grand Prix.
With both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz starting in the midpack following a difficult qualifying, Ferrari adopted a one-stop strategy for both of its cars.
This meant going long on its first set of Medium tyres and not mirroring its rivals by pitting when a Safety Car was called on lap 12 following a crash for George Russell.
After that, Leclerc was told that Sainz wouldn’t attack him as they both increased the gap on the midfield pack.
Vasseur denies that Ferrari was attempting to play favourites during the race, but rather was thinking about how it could ensure both cars would benefit through strategy.
“No it wasn’t that we wanted to protect someone, it was just strategy at this stage of the race was to push and to avoid losing time fighting together.
“We were trying to extend to create the gap to [Esteban] Ocon and [Lando] Norris perhaps, I don’t know. To fight together and to lose time would’ve been stupid.”
Leclerc and Sainz pitted from fourth and fifth respectively and re-emerged in the same places, where they remained to the chequered flag.
However, there was a temptation earlier in the race to pit under the Safety Car, with Leclerc being informed over the team radio to react “opposite to Norris”.
While the strategy call worked out in Ferrari’s favour, Vasseur admits that it was a gamble for the team to take.
“You always have some hesitation but what is quite obvious is that most of them told us that the pace was much better for them, when they were stuck in the traffic the potential was there,” he said.
“They said ‘just give us clean air’. The best way to do it was to not pit.
“For sure it’s kind of a gamble because if you have another Safety Car 18 laps later it’s a bit more difficult, but it was a good call, the best way to recover.”