The silly season may only just be beginning, but that didn’t stop Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto from hitting out at Toto Wolff and Mercedes. The Italian took a shot at the Brackley outfit for its earlier criticism of Ferrari’s timing of the team’s 2021 driver lineup announcement. Binotto took a dig at Mercedes for not renewing Lewis Hamilton’s contract yet.
For those unaware, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff questioned Ferrari’s “unusual“ timing in announcing its second driver for 2021. A few days after Sebastian Vettel announced his exit, Ferrari announced Carlos Sainz as his replacement.
Wolff found the whole thing odd, considering both drivers still have a part to play for their current teams. With the season yet to begin, and both drivers knowing they won’t be sticking on with their respective teams, Wolff believes that puts Ferrari and McLaren at a disadvantage.
In Vettel’s case, he has little to lose and could end up being a small problem for the team. In Sainz’s case, he could carry over knowledge of McLaren’s “secrets” to Ferrari next season. Keeping that in mind, Toto said:
“It was all unusual (at Ferrari and McLaren). But that the new driver pairing was already ahead of the season, just like McLaren, is something we wouldn’t do”
Binotto had some words for the Austrian and called out Mercedes for not re-signing Lewis Hamilton. Toto has maintained that Mercedes won’t talk contracts until the season begins.
Nevertheless, BInotto gave Wolff a piece of his mind, Speaking to La Stampa, he said:
“I’m glad Mercedes always has opinions about us. I’m surprised they haven’t signed the contract with Hamilton yet too. We would have done it much sooner.”
Hamilton’s contract with Mercedes has been a topic of great discussion ever since Vettel announced his departure from Ferrari.
It’s more than likely for Mercedes to renew Hamilton’s contract as both parties realistically have no better options.
With Ferrari out of reach and Red Bull leaning towards its own drivers, Hamilton has no better option than staying on at the Brackley outfit.
The same can be said for Mercedes, who don’t have too many options to choose from. Unless they do the unthinkable and sign Vettel.