Jolyon Palmer column: Ferrari overcomplicating life with team orders

We and our partners use technology, like biscuits, and collect information to supply you with the very best internet experience and to personalise the information and advertisements.
Please let us know whether you agree.
By Jolyon Palmer
Former Renault driver and BBC Radio 5 Live commentator
Former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer, who left Renault is a part of the BBC team and offers analysis and insight from the point of view of the competitors.
Deliciously ironic was Mercedes technical director James Allison described Lewis Hamiltons success in the Russian Grand Prixshortly following the race fell apart for Ferrari.
And the irony drops in two manners.
Sebastian Vettel disobeyed staff requests to place himself in with a chance of winning the race before Ferrari intervened in the pit stops – then retired.
And after Ferrari did whatever they could orchestrate a one-two finish by minding these groups orders Vettels retirement cost them the race.
The grand prix itself wasnt the greatest in terms of excitement and action, but it increased a number of queries regarding Ferrari and the way in which they manage their drivers.
Ferrari went to the race in Sochi with a plan they thought was the best method to ensure another one-two within a week, after Vettel headed residence team-mate Charles Leclerc in Singapore, however it was complicated, and fell down as a result of Vettel carrying things in his own hands.
With Leclerc in third on rod and Vettel – and Lewis Hamiltons Mercedes in between – Ferrari came up with an idea to ensure the opening lap was led round by both their cars.
They used a slipstream to be given by Leclerc into Vettel on the Future down to Turn Two, the initial corner that was appropriate, in a bid to get the German last Hamilton.
The idea was that Leclerc would not defend against Vettel to provide him the best chance of passing Hamilton, and Vettel will hand back the lead into Leclerc.
It worked – but immediately led to difficulties, when Vettel refused to give the lead back. You need to question Ferrari had to make things.
In fact, passing Hamilton at the beginning was not inclined to be difficult for Vettel, whose Ferrari had the cleaner, and grippier aspect of the trail thicker, grippier tyres and an abundance of extra straight-line speed in contrast to Mercedes.
The fact that the McLaren of Carlos Sainz was also before Hamilton into Turn Two, with started fifth, was evidence of this.
An individual can understand Ferraris need to leave no stone unturned, since the slipstream down to Turn Two is they dropped the race . Two decades back, Mercedes Valtteri Bottas began third, together with Ferrari motorists Vettel along with Kimi Raikkonen locking the front out, however, Bottas slipstreamed into the lead past both automobiles and proceeded to win.
It was nice to have Leclerc grip his lineup for some time to guarantee Vettel drifted past Hamilton, however, the problems began with not giving Leclerc the opportunity to then proceed to the inside and naturally defend his guide.
That made the situation awkward for Ferrari and overcomplicated items in a bid to cover all angles off.
Had Leclerc stayed to the left , then proceeded into the right to shield the interior in Turn Two, he was supposed to have retained the lead even though Vettel had an extremely significant overlap.
Ferrari was forced by allowing Vettel through into the guide into using team orders a time, which was the time that was shown to be harder.
Leclerc kept to his side of the deal, however, Vettel refused to let his team-mate retake the lead.
Vettel claimed two things: that Leclerc needed to get to make the move; and that he would have experienced the place given his slipstream.
Lets consider these one at a time.
Firstly, would Vettel have passed Leclerc to the first corner if Leclerc had defended?
He wouldnt have held , although he was a way before his team-mate since they hit the brakes for Turn Two.
Was it honest to Vettel to inquire Ferrari to inquire Leclerc to get closer before he handed the lead back?
Leclerc would constantly be fighting to get closer due to their turbulent air, and was one minute back when Vettel requested this.
Under this agreement, Vettel knew going into the race that he was all but certain to pass Hamilton at the start but he also knew he wouldnt be permitted to keep standing. The deal was Leclerc on the grounds that he could be given the place back.
If Vettel wanted to have a fight down to Switch Two, or even disagreed with the notion of giving back the place to Leclerc, he should have voiced that in the morning assembly when Ferrari determined theyd orchestrate the beginning.
When the agreement was set up, it had been too late for Vettel to possess any complaints.
Vettels defiance does raise question marks about the two Ferrari drivers connection.
This was a delicate situation annually. Vettel sees himself as the number one but Leclerc has so much talent, and it has begun to prove himself to be the quicker of the two.
Tensions really got two races until Russia in Italy since in qualifying Leclerc failed to stick to his aspect of a bargain. He was extended a tow behind Vettel on the opening lap of final qualifying however – while sitting pole – didnt.
In Singapore, Vettel hit back with a triumph – but Leclerc was unhappy because he was leading only for Ferraris decision to pit Vettel first leading to him ending up before his team-mate. Not only was a violation of protocol in groups, but Ferrari also did not tell Leclerc Vettel had been attracted by them in, so that he had no opportunity to.
Today a group order has been defied by Vettel clearly.
Did he refuse to allow Leclerc by from the early laps, but once Leclerc had pitted, the German shortly landed on the radio to state his tyres were going off, but even though his lap times showed little evidence to confirm his claim.
This was obviously an indirect request for a pit stop to cover off Leclerc and ensure he maintained the lead.
He felt Leclerc was underhand in Monza and could find this as payback, although it emanates out of Vettel.
In general, despite most of parties placing on a united front to the media, the trust in the connection between motorists will teeter on the brink. Would Leclerc trust Vettel now to comply to team requests? No.
Could Vettel trust Leclerc in reverse? Following Monza, you could argue also no.
Leclerc sticking to team requests was the easiest thing he could do. They satisfied him because it turned out to be a sure fire he would have the direct of the Grand Prix without needing to work for it on the way down to Switch Two. Obviously he was about to honor with this one.
In the long run, there was a wisp of karma about the retirement of Vettel following his stand against requests in the pit .
Ferrari are currently doing a lot right at the present time. They got the fastest car in qualifying. Leclerc is driving quite sensationally on Saturdays, and his fourth pole standing in a row underlines the performance of the Ferrari-Leclerc bundle.
Their approach has also enhanced. The one-two end in Singapore was evidence of the, while holding a set up position in Sochi was strong, even though we do not understand how that would have unfolded with Mercedes broader race pace – established by Hamiltons fastest lap, about the exact tyres as Leclerc in the conclusion.
Achilles remains an Achilles heel.
Ferrari have lost a triumph after dominating in Bahrain to reliability, when the engine of Leclerc went sour at the final laps. In Germany, when they had looked set to take pole, both cars had to start from position due to engine problems. And to Vettel, the identical thing happened in Austria if there was a berth on the cards.
Now that Achilles heel has hurt again, since when Vettel retired having a failure in his hybrid , it plonked the race directly into Mercedes lap because of the following virtual safety automobile, set up to control the race while marshals regained Vettels spilled vehicle.
The indications are favorable for 2020, but that is one aspect that has to be improved on if they would like to beat Mercedes throughout a full season.
The virtual security car killed the possibility of a thrilling ending off to the Russian Grand Prix. Hamilton, with sexier tyres and pace, would have been charging and fighting to pass Leclerc.
It would have been Monza take two, and Formula 1 in its finest.
But the VSC gifted Hamilton the lead – it reduced the time lost in the pits while others were having to go slow on the track, and he appeared clear of Leclerc and about greater tyres.
Individuals will moan that the security car or VSC rules kill racing, and Silverstone this season was just another race which was destroyed by the phone of a security automobile, persuading Hamilton another easy win.
The reverse side is that safety cars have created some races that are brilliant and better .
Think back to 2 races a season: China, when Daniel Ricciardo billed through the field to acquire thrilling fashion, and Melbourne, once Vettel snuck the triumph from beneath the nose Mercedes after a mid-race safety car.
It could go both ways, but finally it comes down to if it is competition that is fair.
In benefiting under a safety car Plan can play a part. Should you go longer before pitting you are more likely to acquire a benefit of pitting when a security car emerges, as occurred to Mercedes in Sochi.
But actually it still all comes down to sheer luck, and you have to wonder whether that is fair.
It seems strange that a race can be won or lost below a VSC once the entire purpose of the VSC is to neutralise the race, which is why the cars have to lap at a specific rate, to maintain the openings between them the same.
One solution to avoid this is under security cars to force motorists to have a time penalty to account for your lap time and to close the pit lane gained.
There can be other options, but that could be a reasonable way to make sure that, before the ending, the spectacle is kept gripping in races such as Russia.
Just how much do you know more about the beautiful game?
Analysis and opinion from the chief Formula 1 author of the BBC.
Find headlines and the most recent results delivered to your phone, locate all our Formula 1 policy details together with our Live Guide, subscribe to our newsletter and also find out where to find us on online.

Read more here:

Liever telefonisch contact? Laat hier je nummer achter en je wordt terug gebeld!