Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo says his two drivers will start the 2011 season on equal terms, ruling out the possibility of imposing team orders early on.
Brazilian Felipe Massa was controversially ordered to let teammate Fernando Alonso through to win the German Grand Prix last year, a decision that cost the team a $100,000 fine.
The ban on team orders has now been removed from the sport and so teams are expected to be able to give orders to their drivers freely. Di Montezemolo, however, believes it is important that both drivers start on equal footing, and only later in the season team orders will be used if necessary.
"If I think one of my drivers is not in the condition to win the championship, I will change them. I want two drivers in a condition to win," di Montezemolo told reporters during a media lunch on Thursday. "I don't want to have a person who is frustrated from the first race because he knows he has less power. Also, the races are too unpredictable.
"What is important is to have a clear understanding between the two drivers in case and when it might be a necessity. For sure, in the second half of the season we have to be prepared in a very open way, but in the first part of the season it is in the interest of the team to put both drivers in the best situation."
Ferrari's president also made it clear he still believed this year's decision at Germany was the right one.
"In the first race, of course, it's ridiculous, even in the third. At Hockenheim it was very clear, more than before, because Felipe was not as quick," he said.
He conceded, however, that the 2002 Austrian GP call, when the team ordered Rubens Barrichello to let Michael Schumacher win the race, was an error.
"For me it was a mistake, because it was too early in the season, maybe, but it was our spirit in terms of the team – we win together and lose together," he added.