Ferrari: Letting Vettel win in Singapore was "key"

Ferrari Formula 1 boss Mattia Binotto believes it was right to let Sebastian Vettel win this year's Singapore Grand Prix to boost his confidence and his trust in the team.

Ferrari: Letting Vettel win in Singapore was "key"

Vettel was running in third place in Singapore, behind teammate Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton, but pitted first to undercut the Mercedes driver.

The early stop inadvertently allowed Vettel to get ahead of poleman Leclerc as well, and Ferrari chose not to force the four-time world champion to let Leclerc back through as Vettel moved clear in traffic and Leclerc was caught by Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

Though Vettel made errors through the 2019 season instead of leading Ferrari's title charge Binotto said he should be praised by how his form improved in the second half of the year, which included the breakthrough win in Singapore.

Binotto said Vettel, who he called a "key driver" who is "central to our project", benefitted from ending his win drought but also the knowledge that Ferrari's wish to prioritise the team's result could help him too.

"He has been uncomfortable with the car at the start of the season, certainly with the braking instability," said Binotto. "I think the challenge [of Leclerc] for him has been a good benchmark as well, because having such a fast teammate gave him some headaches.

"In order to improve himself, he's always very analytic. He approaches the exercise, he's not emotional in that respect, he's looking at the data, to compare the sectors, looking where he's eventually slower or faster.

Read Also:

"In the first part of the season he has been put under a lot of pressure. I think he reacted very well in the second half. The victory in Singapore has been key for him, not only for the victory itself, but the trust in the team. He knew that he could count on the team for help, if necessary.

"But I think it was right, it was the right choice and time to let him win."

Ferrari improved in the second half of 2019 and Singapore was in the middle of a run of six consecutive pole positions for the team, which had a controversial power advantage but also seemed to improve its aerodynamic performance.

Though Leclerc had more impressive results the car's improved cornering characteristics boosted Vettel, particularly in qualifying as his average starting position of 3.7 before the summer break became 2.5 in the second half.

"When he had a lot of overall confidence in the car, I think he has been very fast," said Binotto. "And if you look at his race pace he is very similar to Charles, who has been faster in qualy instead.

"So I think I would say, well done to him for the second part of the season – well done for the way he reacted after a not easy first half of the season."

shares
comments
Albon was "almost back at square one" after Red Bull call-up

Previous article

Albon was "almost back at square one" after Red Bull call-up

Next article

2019 tech verdict: McLaren on the road to recovery

2019 tech verdict: McLaren on the road to recovery
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Sebastian Vettel
Teams Scuderia Ferrari
Author Scott Mitchell
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021