Ferrari wants to avoid war of words with Mercedes

Speedcafe.com

Tuesday 27th June, 2017 - 9:43am

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Lewis Hamilton leads Sebastian Vettel in Baku

Ferrari says it is not interested in getting involved in a war of words with Formula 1 title rival Mercedes after the controversy of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Both Mercedes and Ferrari drivers collided in the Baku race with Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen coming together on the opening lap, and Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel coming to blows behind the safety car.

But despite some strong words from Mercedes’ drivers and team management about what happened, Ferrari has said it has more important things to do than pick over the events of Baku.

Speaking to Sky’s Italian F1 channel after the race, Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene said: “We will do an analysis of the race, but we will not complain because it is not our style.

“But from what happened between Bottas and Raikkonen, and then afterwards the episode of Vettel, are we in F1 or the Colosseum?

“If we are at the Colosseum then just say – and we can do a famous technical directive and we can all follow that.

“Having said all that, we fought hard and in Austria we will try again more determined than before – because we talk a little and work a lot.”

When asked whether he agreed with Vettel that Hamilton should have been penalised for slowing in front of his driver, Arrivabene said: “Criticising as well may seem inelegant, or an excuse on our part.

“That said, you have to judge the situation exactly as it is and when in doubt, give Ferrari the benefit of the doubt.

“The important thing is to look forward and make sure that things are right.

“There was a beautiful demonstration when the boys were thrown on Raikkonen’s car preparing it in no time at all and sending it back out to take advantage of the red flag.

“This is the Ferrari I know; this is a team that will never give up and will continue to never give up in sporting terms.”

Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda has suggested Vettel will ultimately realise he was in the wrong, but Arrivabene preferred not to respond.

“Lauda can say whatever he wants,” said Arrivabene.

“Sometimes he speaks for himself, sometimes he even talks to us.

“But as I said before, we are silent.

“We work and we let Lauda talk.

“He has his points of view, us ours and we’ll see you in Austria.

“He will continue to speak, we will continue to listen to it. Perfect. There are still 12 races to go.”

Vettel now leads Hamilton by 14 points in the drivers’ championship after they finished fourth and fifth following Vettel’s penalty and Hamilton pitting for attention to a loose headrest.

Mercedes’ constructors’ championship lead over Ferrari is up to 24 points thanks to Bottas recovering to second and Raikkonen eventually retiring.

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