Shanghai - Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto defended a decision to use team orders in favour of four times Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel in Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix.
The German’s team mate Charles Leclerc had made a better start and was in third place, with Vettel close behind, when the team gave instructions for the Monegasque to let his team mate through early on.
The attempt to close the gap on Mercedes rivals Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, who were pulling away at the front and won one-two, failed and Vettel finished third with Leclerc dropping to fifth.
“Certainly it’s difficult as a team to give the order because we understand the drivers, they need to battle, to stay ahead as much as they can,” Binotto, who took over in January, told reporters.
“We tried everything we could not to lose time on the Mercedes ahead and that was among the only chance we got at the time,” added the Swiss-born boss. “So, we tried. It didn’t work, let’s say.