During the Brazilian Grand Prix last weekend, Leclerc had the run on Vettel with fresher tyres at a safety car restart, but the German fought back on the back straight, with the aid of DRS… we all remember what happened after that.
In the podcast “Starting Grid” the collision between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc has caused heated discussions this week. But team boss Mattia Binotto tries to see the glass half full and not half-empty.
“If I consider that they didn’t know each other at the beginning of the season, they have a good relationship today. They work well together,” he says.
“What happened in Brazil certainly doesn’t help. But I don’t think it’s a drama. Quite the opposite: I see this more as an opportunity to clarify things with a view to next year.”
Binotto already made it clear on Sunday evening in Sao Paulo that he would “summon” the two drivers in Maranello for a discussion.
In Sao Paulo, both Vettel and Leclerc complied with his request not to add fuel to the fire in the TV interviews, but not to comment on the question of guilt. Even if it was obvious to both of them how difficult it was for them.
Sao Paulo was not the first tricky situation that Ferrari 2019 had to solve internally. Already in Bahrain Leclerc had resisted the instruction to stay behind Vettel by making a pass within minutes of the team instruction over the radio.
At Monza he was so clumsy in qualifying, probably intentionally, that Leclerc was unable to provide Vettel with an assisted slipstream. And in Sochi Vettel didn’t give back the first place to Leclerc despite instructions.
“It’s true that Monza was not an easy situation. They had to explain it, they talked to each other, face to face, completely open. The same to Russia,” says Binotto.
But it wouldn’t be right to construct a team war from this, he emphasises: “What I read and hear is quite different from what I observe internally.