Some people may read it like a situation where the tables have turned but others will simply say that an old guard of the sport is back in its true reckoning. Fanboy narratives be darned, Ferrari are back in form and so utterly dominant have they been in the recent races that despite that odd DNF at Australia for one of their cars, the rest of the race results have all yielded podium finishes.
In some ways, therefore, it makes perfect sense to suggest that the team that was mostly counting positives in 2021 has returned to the top step of the podium.
A clear indication of the prowess of the SF-175, Ferrari’s 2022 challenger, would be to note the smashing grand slam Charles Leclerc drove home at the recent Australian Grand Prix.
In taking the pole, and with it, the race win as also the fastest lap, Leclerc commandeered a perfectly judged race win and also his maiden career grand slam. Though, it was a slam dunk sort of situation for the likes of Red Bull’s marauding driver Max Verstappen; the defending world champion registering a second-if not consecutive- DNF of this season.
But with Charles Leclerc in a dominant position, being trailed by good friend and teammate Carlos Sainz, it appears that there’s no need for team orders.
Well, not just yet!
In a recent interaction with the media, the team principal Mattia Binotto clearly explained the standing of the Italian side, maintaining that the championship is still in its early stages and that both drivers have the license to race hard and go for the wins. Perhaps the clear reason why there’s no team orders being imposed on either of the two battling duo.
The following is what the famous bespectacled team boss had to say:
“It’s only three races which have been done now,” he explained. There are still 20 races left, hopefully 19 or 20. So the championship is still very long. Our drivers are free to fight, and I am really looking forward and enjoying that they are battling for a good place, and first place, if possible.”
That being said, we have seen clearly in the past how Ferrari have imposed team orders on either of their driving duo. Most famously, the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix comes to the mind, where Kimi Raikkonen, the pole sitter and subsequent race leader was called into the pits at nearly the halfway stage only so Sebastian Vettel, positioned firmly in the fight against Lewis Hamilton, could claim the race lead.
The end result was a Ferrari 1 and 2 but eventually, the famous racing stable would fail to curtail ‘Hammertime’ as seen by all. But where it comes to team orders at Ferrari, then nothing quite beats the electrifying and dramatic scenes of Hockenheim, home to the 2010 German Grand Prix.
It is where where Rob Smedley’s famous, “Alonso is faster than you,” would basically impose team orders in Felipe Massa, the team instructing the Brazilian to let the Spaniard pass.