Back in May, Ferrari dropped a bomb on F1 fans worldwide by announcing that they would not be continuing with Sebastian Vettel beyond the 2020 season. The move generated much outrage against Ferrari and attracted sympathy for Vettel.
But now that the dust has settled and Vettel has signed up with Aston Martin, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto justifies why it was right to let the German go even before the season had gotten underway.
Binotto said, “I’m really very, very happy. I think the fact that we decided very early (that he wouldn’t be re-signed) was to give him a chance to find a seat. The fact that he found a seat is a success as well for us.
“So I’m very happy for him as a driver, as a person, and happy for Formula 1 because I think retaining Seb in the circus is important. I think it’s a great result.”
Now that just sounds like a very simple cover-up. When Vettel finds a seat, it is very convenient for Ferrari to come out and say that it was our masterstroke that got him a seat.
What if he hadn’t? Would Ferrari have come out with a statement saying they are sorry for him?
The rationale behind axing Vettel so early is flawed and just plain silly.
Binotto’s statements almost make it seem as though Ferrari are trying to take credit for Vettel’s move. And that is seriously questionable from a fan’s perspective. Especially after considering the way in which Vettel was informed that his services are no longer required beyond 2020.
At this point in time, it looks as though the Scuderia are on a mission to become the most resented team on the grid. Every race day, every action they take, they seem to be digging a deeper hole for themselves. They aren’t painting themselves in glory, that’s for sure.
A lot of things are going wrong at Ferrari. Potentially anything they say regarding Vettel will only come back to bite them. The fans are already disgruntled with the way the season is going, the Scuderia cannot afford to continue messing up.
Some respite is needed to calm the seething fans and media. Perhaps some solace can come their way during the Russian Grand Prix (27th of September). But you wouldn’t want to bet your house on it.