Binotto orders sit-down with Leclerc and Vettel in Maranello
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto has summoned Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel to Maranello this week to discuss the pair’s costly clash in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
Vettel and Leclerc were involved in a tight intra-team battle in the closing stages of the race when the latter passed the former into Interlagos’ Turn 1.
But Vettel got a run on his teammate out of Turn 3, passing Leclerc on the right on the straight only to hit the Monegasque’s right front wheel and puncture his own rear left tyre.
It was a self-inflicted wound that led to both drivers’ retirement further up the road and to the loss of a healthy bag of points for the Scuderia.
Vettel and Leclerc exonerated but Binotto rues ‘silly mistake’
Binotto labeled the incident a “silly mistake’ although the Ferrari boss stopped short of assigning responsibility to either driver.
The Italian outfit subsequently canceled its post-race press conference at Interlagos, but Binotto, who spoke only briefly to both drivers yesterday, made clear that a meeting behind closed doors at Maranello was in order.
“I heard both drivers, but there will be time together with them to discuss again what happened today, and there will be time for the team to analyse all the video and the data,” the Swiss said.
“Whatever will be the judgment, the most important thing is that we are disappointed and sorry for the team.
“First, the two drivers should be sorry for the team. Because it was a very small crash with big consequence. But that is a silly thing that should not happen.”
Brazil marked the third time this season that Vettel and Leclerc have found themselves at odds with each other.
At Monza earlier this year, Vettel blamed Leclerc for not returning the favour of a slipstream in qualifying, while in Russia, Vettel ignored a pre-race agreed team order to let his teammate pass after the start of the race.
“It’s a matter of recognising, eventually, what has been the actions and the mistakes,” Binotto added.
“And I think that whatever you are, a driver, an engineer, whatever you are doing, recognising mistakes is important because that can only make you better.
“So, I think what would be important with both drivers is to understand what happened. Making sure that at least not in the heat, but when they will come all together in Maranello to understand what happened, what has been the mistake.
“It’s not me to blame them, it’s them to recognise it.”
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