Ferrari Chairman John Elkann has highlighted the importance of working as “a team” as the Scuderia target World Championship glory in 2022.
Charles Leclerc leads the way in the fight for the Drivers’ title, 27 points up on Red Bull rival Max Verstappen. Meanwhile, Leclerc’s teammate, Carlos Sainz, is 48 points behind after a pair of retirements.
In the past, Ferrari have deployed team orders to ensure their leading driver scores as many points as possible. Rubens Barrichello and Felipe Massa, as two prominent examples, were instructed to move aside for Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso respectively.
So far, Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto has protested that Leclerc and Sainz will remain on an equal footing, with no need for team orders.
Elkann proud of Ferrari’s teamwork
But whatever happens going forward, Elkann expects the dynamic between Ferrari’s two current drivers to be an advantage for the team.
“We have two great drivers on their own merits but, more importantly, they’re a team, and that is what is important for Ferrari,” he made clear, when asked by F1 TV for his thoughts on Ferrari’s current driver line-up.
“Something I’m very proud of, personally, is to see how Ferrari, as a team, from our drivers to our engineers and mechanics, have worked well together.
“Our performance at the pit-stop, 48 per cent were under three seconds in 2020, going up to 78 per cent in 2021. This year, we’re at 89 per cent, and that tells it.”
Elkann: I want to stay really close, but not visible
Elkann was present at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as Ferrari looked to deliver for an expectant Tifosi at Imola.
The Italian-American businessman often remains out of public view, but within close proximity to the team, he says.
“I’m close to my Mattia, to our drivers to our engineers, our mechanics in Maranello and on track – but what really matters for me is to be really close, not visibly close,” he said.
“I think it’s wonderful to see how it’s become fun, that the competitiveness has increased, that a lot of talent is coming to Formula 1, and I credit Chase Carey and Stefano Domenicali for the great work they’ve achieved giving a future to Formula 1.
“As Ferrari and Formula 1, we’re so linked that having a bright future ahead is wonderful for the sport.”