Ferrari’s future strategy surprises Wolff

Aug.1 (GMM) Toto Wolff has admitted surprise at Ferrari’s decision to essentially write off both the 2020 and 2021 seasons in order to focus on the new rules for 2022.

With Carlos Sainz en route to the team next year, and Charles Leclerc under contract until the end of 2024, others are also wondering about the wisdom of the comments made this week by Ferrari chairman John Elkann.

One of them might be Gunther Steiner, boss of the Ferrari-powered Haas team that buys many parts from the fabled Maranello marque.

“I’m aware of the situation we are in, and I see what they are doing and the situation they are in, so I was not very surprised by the statement from Mr Elkann,” Steiner said.

“For sure it’s never nice to be told it will be difficult, but if you admit that it will be difficult you work hard to make it better going forward.”

Sainz, currently at McLaren, also said Elkann’s comments were simply “common sense”.

And Leclerc is quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport: “I am not frustrated by that. We must be honest.

“We know we have to work hard and I don’t think it’s right in this moment to point the finger somewhere specific. It’s a difficult period but we are motivated to get back to the level we want,” he said.

As for Wolff, boss of the dominant Mercedes team, he said at Silverstone when asked about Elkann: “I saw those comments but it’s hard for me to judge.

“Is it really possible to dismiss two seasons at once in order to prepare for 2022?

“We are only allowed to start developing the new car in January next year, which means that even if you write off this season, it will not give you any advantage.

“But I don’t think it’s my business to comment on the plans of Ferrari,” Wolff added.

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