With just two races remaining before the summer break, Ferrari are being urged by their former technical chief, Enrico Scalabroni, to finally decide on who is the team’s number one driver.
The team has allowed both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz to fight for victories this season, even at the expense of closing the gap to championship leader Max Verstappen.
Leclerc saw his hopes of winning the Monaco and British Grand Prix vanish, after the team gave Sainz a superior strategy.
Despite this, Leclerc sits higher in the Drivers’ Championship than his Spanish team-mate, and has won more races this year.
Leclerc has claimed three victories, whereas Sainz has only one.
The Monegasque driver sits second in the standings, 38-points behind Verstappen.
Sainz, however, is fourth and 75 points behind the Red Bull Racing driver.
Had the team prioritised Leclerc at both the Circuit-de Monaco and Silverstone, then the 24-year-old would find himself considerably closer to his title rival ahead of the French Grand Prix.
Scalabroni thinks the team are making a grave mistake with their current strategy, and that they “must” decide on who will lead the team’s title charge.
“Ferrari must have a first and second driver for the battle with Verstappen,” he said.
“At this level, with a lot of points to make up for, they need to do that. The second driver must be there to prioritise the team.
“It doesn’t matter if the name is Leclerc or Sainz. It’s not about the driver; it’s about the team.
“If they want to win as a team, they can’t do what Williams did with Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet, for example,” he said.
As a team, Ferrari find themselves 56 points behind their Austrian rivals after 11-rounds.
The Scuderia can’t afford anymore strategic slip-ups, similar to the one at Silverstone where they left Leclerc out on old Hard tyres despite having the opportunity to pit him for new Softs and retain the lead.
Red Bull have clearly decided to prioritise Verstappen once again, with the Dutchman’s team-mate, Sergio Pérez, having already been told to let the championship leader pass multiple times.
With Red Bull having made their decision on who is going to lead their title charge, Scalabroni thinks the time is now for Ferrari to make theirs.
“The most important thing is to drive for the team,” Scalabroni continued.
“So I think the biggest issue is which of the two drivers has the most points.
“Ferrari is not looking at that now, but it has to make a decision. They should focus on the driver with the most points and who has had the fewest problems.”