Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto stated that Carlos Sainz is a team player and he “puts the team first.”
The Safety Car that was deployed on lap 39 of the British GP was the key moment of the race. Leader Charles Leclerc stayed on the track, while drivers behind, including Sainz, who was 2nd at that moment, got soft tires.
Ahead of the restart, Ferrari asked Sainz to create a 10-car gap from his teammate to help him avoid any pressure during the restart. The Spaniard opposed to the decision, explaining that he would have to defend from the opponents, who also were on softs.
Sainz overtook Leclerc at the restart and went on to win the race. Leclerc fought with Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton on hard tires. The Monegasque ended the race right outside the podium.
After the race, Binotto brushed off suggestions that Sainz ignored team orders.
“Carlos wasn’t ignoring the team – he made it clear to us that he had to protect himself against the pressure from behind and in doing so, he was protecting our goal to stay ahead,” he said.
“As a team, we fully appreciate this, and we we’re all aligned. Without this insider information, I can see how this could be perceived as Carlos not being a team player.
“But a few laps before he swapped positions without any hesitation or complaints, clearly demonstrating that he puts the team first.”