Ferrari Formula 1 chief Mattia Binotto says he is “quite surprised” by the suggestion that there is growing tension between Sebastian Vettel and the team. 

Four-time world champion Vettel rose from 11th on the grid to pull off a risky one-stop strategy and finish seventh, collecting the Scuderia’s only points in the Spanish Grand Prix.  

The German expressed his frustration with Ferrari’s lack of radio communications about his tyre strategy during the race, insisting he had already asked the team about switching to a one-stopper when his engineer came over the radio to query the move. 

It followed similar confusion over team radio regarding Vettel’s strategy at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone last weekend. 

But Binotto denied the recent radio communication is a sign of increased tension in the team’s relationship with Vettel, who is leaving Ferrari at the end of the year after not being offered a new contract.

“I think that communicating with the drivers is important,” Binotto said. 

“Something that we decided together with the drivers that we should be open as we can. Sometimes questioning doesn’t mean that it's a misunderstanding. 

“I think questioning ourselves by communicating is important finally to get the right choice. I felt that the last few races we made the right choice, sometimes lucky as Seb said but at least we came to the choice because we are communicating. 

“To be open on the radio, when you’re in the midfield, sometimes it’s difficult but just making sure at least just by questioning, again, we make the proper decision.”

Asked whether he felt the communication with Vettel had become more tense in recent races, Binotto replied: “I do not notice what you’re mentioning. 

“At least from our side, we’ve not changed a different type of tone or whatever, so [I’m] quite surprised. It’s not the case.”

Vettel insisted Ferrari does not need to review its strategy and stressed a lack of communication at times during grand prix sessions does not necessarily mean there is a problem with the relationship between driver and team. 

“From my side it’s no different than it has been,” Vettel explained.

“Sometimes you talk on the radio but we see each other the whole day, so you can talk the whole day. You don’t need to talk on the radio all the time. Nothing has changed.”

 

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