Ferrari drivers 'damaged the team' by crashing in Brazil

<i> Image: AFP / Andrej Isakovic </i>
<i> Image: AFP / Andrej Isakovic </i>
Andrej Isakovic

Mattia Binotto was furious after Ferrari's drivers collided in the closing stages of the Brazilian GP.

Even before the Interlagos crash, the relationship between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc was already unsettled as they vie for top status.

Strong signals

"The two drivers must realise that they have damaged the team," said Binotto, the Maranello team's usually-calm team boss.

READ | Max Verstappen wins crazy Brazilian GP as both Ferraris crash out

"I don't want to judge right now who made the mistake, but it is necessary to give a strong signal to them that certain things cannot happen," he told Italian media.

"We now pay as a team and our image. With all the work that we do, it's not good."

Which Ferrari driver is to blame for what happened at the Brazilian grand prix? Email us.

Binotto said he was contemplating calling off the post-race driver debrief to make clear that Ferrari will not tolerate such incidents.

"We are considering not doing the debrief. At times it is necessary to give a strong signal," he confirmed.

Vettel, however, denied blame for the incident, although he admitted it was "a rather aggressive fight".

"I believe that neither of us did anything stupid. But we are both mature enough to know that these things must not happen," Leclerc insisted.

'We let them fight freely'

"It happened at the wrong time, as we are both fighting for third place in the championship, and I am very sorry. But I am sure that the relationship with Seb will not change."

"They must understand that both have a part of the blame," Binotto continued.

Before the race, both Leclerc and Vettel admitted they would be pushing hard in Brazil and Abu Dhabi to secure third place in the drivers' championship.

"We let them fight freely because we are already second in the constructors' championship, so they could fight for their position in the drivers' championship," said Binotto.

"We have been criticised in the past for interfering too much in a fight, but to fight freely does not mean to do stupid things, especially this.

"We spoke out after Monza, and in my view the drivers had a good relationship after that. But the race today has certainly not helped in this regard," the Italian added.

Finally, Binotto said the only positive from the crash is that it gives him "the opportunity to clarify the internal rules before the coming season".

"This is something that should not be repeated."

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