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Mercedes playing with team orders, not Ferrari – Surer

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Marc Surer thinks it is Mercedes, not Ferrari, who have been using ‘team orders’ so far in 2017.

As the ‘big two’ teams’ title battle ramps up, some including Lewis Hamilton suspect Kimi Raikkonen was deliberately dropped behind his Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel in Monaco.

But Surer, a former F1 driver turned German-language pundit, said: “Up until now you can’t accuse Ferrari of absolutely anything.

“On the contrary,” he told the German broadcaster Sky, “in China it was Vettel who was stuck for an eternity behind Kimi. Still, the reds did not intervene.

“Mercedes, on the other hand, clearly did a team order in Bahrain — even openly on the radio. I think it’s good how Ferrari is doing it.

“Later in the year they will still need Kimi, so if they intervene already, you break his morale,” Surer added.

However, Raikkonen was obviously angry after Monaco, but Surer thinks Ferrari will have been able to explain what happened with his race strategy afterwards.

“I think Kimi would have understood what happened,” Surer said. “He was just angry at first that he lost the race, but Vettel was clearly faster in Monaco, so end of story.”

Indeed, many believe Vettel is now the favourite to win the world championship, with Surer thinking Lewis Hamilton needs a change of focus as he fights back.

“If Lewis wants to be champion, he has to pull himself together,” said the Swiss. “Fly less around the world and focus more on the race.

“Suddenly Bottas is in front of him, which he did not expect at all, but the Finn is a serious worker who gets the best out of the car, as Rosberg did before him.”

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