Ferrari boss, Maurizio Arrivabene, has admitted that he apologized to Valtteri Bottas after he called the Finn a ‘butler’ post the chaotic Monza race, where Raikkonen was held up behind him for a long period.
After the race, the Ferrari boss had stated that his team had ‘drivers, not butlers’, clearly referring to the support role Bottas played for Lewis Hamilton, while Raikkonen got sandwiched between the two Mercedes cars after Vettel fought his way from the back.
“As soon as I said it in the heat of the battle, I knew it would create a controversy,” Arrivabene told Italian outlet, Autosprint.
“Since then I have exchanged messages with Valtteri Bottas. I wanted to apologise to him and understand what I meant. It had slipped out but it’s not a label I want to use for Bottas.”
“I appreciate his response very much that he understood,” the Ferrari chief revealed.
A lot of fans believed that Ferrari should have had team orders to prevent the disastrous start at Monza. Arrivabene has stated that it would have been impossible to do any such thing right at the start.
“It was said that Kimi did something unfavourable to Sebastian, but what should he have done? What he did is exactly what Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel would have done,” said Arrivabene.
“I just instructed them to not do anything stupid.”
He did take responsibility for it though. “I answer for the whole team, so it doesn’t matter who made a mistake — the driver or the team. Someone must answer, and this person is me,” he said.
The current season has been a roller coaster one as the Ferrari and Mercedes teams have had more than their fair share of clashes. Mercedes had even gone as far as accusing Ferrari of deliberate tactics after the British GP.
Arrivabene had hit out at them after those allegations but Mercedes themselves were not far behind as Bottas collided with Vettel at the Hungarian GP, a race he would like to forget soon.
The pair will gear up for their next assignment, which is the Singapore Grand Prix this weekend.