Stefano Domenicali has admitted F1's recent 'Multi-21' saga made him smile. In the past, it was Ferrari copping the brunt of fans and pundits' ire for risking pure sporting ethos by manipulating the...
In the past, it was Ferrari copping the brunt of fans and pundits' ire for risking pure sporting ethos by manipulating the order of its two cars.
Now, almost three weeks ago in Malaysia, Mercedes and particularly world champions Red Bull were in the spotlight.
"Obviously both teams simply wanted to protect their positions towards the end of the race," said Ferrari team boss Domenicali, "which is completely legitimate."
Legitimate yes, but rivals teams - Red Bull included - have often in the past drawn attention to Ferrari's willing disposition to impose 'team orders'.
This time, the criticism was elsewhere.
"I have to smile," Domenicali told Germany's Sport Bild on Wednesday, "when I think that in the past we were criticised for our philosophy of putting the interests of the team above all else."
Referring to 'Multi-21' in Malaysia, he continued: "I don't know the facts and the agreements that were made previously.
"I can only say that I saw one of the saddest podiums of my career."
Nonetheless, Domenicali's criticism of Vettel - for ignoring his Red Bull bosses - was muted.
"The fact is," said the Italian, "Sebastian always brings out the maximum from his car, in a way that Mark (Webber) cannot always do."