The radio message, “we’ll talk later,” will have sent chills down the backs of all those of a certain age, who on hearing the words from their mothers way back when knew that they would usually be followed by a spanking.
Things got worse next day however, when, having lost out on pole, Vettel found himself battling his teammate at the start of the Italian Grand Prix, in the process losing out to title rival Lewis Hamilton and culminating in a move which saw the German spin at the first chicane and drop down through the field… in the eyes of many the trigger to his and Ferrari‘s season subsequently falling apart.
It was later revealed that on the eve of the event Raikkonen had been informed he was to be dropped by the Maranello outfit in favour of Charles Leclerc, which led to speculation that the Finn’s refusal to ‘play ball’ was precipitated by his dumping by the team.
Not so, insists Maurizio Arrivabene.
“Both Kimi and Sebastian are two great professionals with years of experience on their shoulders,” he said, according to Motorsport.com. “They are not two kart drivers who have just started hanging out at the track.
“What has been said about the timing of this situation are assessments which I find disrespectful against drivers who are great professionals,” he added. “And let me say, if every time that Kimi receives news of this nature he responds with a pole position, then it would be worth doing it every weekend.
“I think it is important to clarify two things,” said the Italian. “Kimi has always gone well at Spa and Monza, and so Kimi was anxious to get from us an answer about his future. I think that communicating a decision like that is more appropriate on the eve of a race weekend on a ‘friendly’ track, rather than at a weekend that promises to be more fraught.
“Ideally it would have been better to communicate during the summer break,” he admitted, “but we were not yet ready to do so. And after Monza meant it would still be on the eve of the Singapore weekend.”