Sainz and Leclerc finished third and fourth after Red Bull’s Sergio Perez passed both drivers and moved into second.
Vasseur chose not to tell the drivers to stay in the pits and take the points home, instead sending a message that they could continue racing each other to the flag, but on the condition that they “take no chances”.
Leclerc made several daring attempts to overtake his teammate, even closing the door at Turn 1 at the start of the last lap, but in the end, Sainz stayed ahead to take the podium.
“If you freeze the situation you will have the exact same question – why did you freeze it?” Vasseur said when asked about the decision.
“It’s certainly a lot easier to comment when you have a comment at the end but I think it was also the best way to thank everyone, support tifosi etc and I wasn’t comfortable with something freezing with five laps to go. The end.
“I trust them, but I told them there was no risk at all. It’s always relative, and I think the idea of no risk is relative. But it’s an opinion, and I’m very proud of the decision, and the work that’s been done.” by today’s drivers.”
Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal and General Manager of Scuderia Ferrari, at the team principals’ press conference
Photo by: FIA Rally
Vasseur insisted that as team principal he had made a personal decision to let the drivers race.
“On this matter, I want to have the last call,” he said. “And I told them no risk, you can race but no risk. Again, it’s relative. But I was more comfortable with that than freezing something.”
“You can always say it was too much or not. But in the end that was the reason we finished the race and I’m very happy with the result.”
Despite the driver having to absorb pressure in the closing stages, Sainz insists it was a “clean” battle with his team mate.
“We clearly knew that the car in the DRS would always feel like the fastest car,” said the Spaniard.
“But at the same time, we know we were fighting for the podium at Monza. So, there was always a little bit of fighting, some battle. In the end, we kept clean. There were a few nice moves here and there, and close battles.
“But I think today, honestly, I enjoyed competing with Max (Verstappen), with Chico (Perez), with Charles. I think it was a good day for Formula 1, a good show. And I did everything I could to stay ahead.” And it worked.”
Asked if he had any concerns, he said: “I’ve never felt so much of a risk. Obviously, with a teammate you’re always a little bit more nervous, (and give) a little bit more leeway because that’s it.” The last thing you want at Monza in front of a tifosi is for you to touch my Ferrari.
“But I think we had a tough battle. It was for an important position and we managed to keep it clean.”
Leclerc echoed Sainz’s sentiments, stressing that he enjoyed the fight
“I was on the limit, and Carlos was on the limit,” said the Monegasque driver. “It’s normal. I think it means a lot to both of us to be on the podium in front of the Tifosi, so we gave everything, but we also know how important it is for the Tifosi to have one red car, whatever.”He’s on the podium. So we kept that in mind. But we really enjoyed it, too. It was great.”
Regarding the no-risk order, he added: “Both of us did, like I said, I mean Carlos was on the limit of the regulations for braking, I was on the border of the regulations in attack, so we did it, but it all ended well, so it’s all right.” .”