Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto will use the collision between Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel to reinforce the rules of engagement between his two drivers next season.
Leclerc had overtaken Vettel into Turn 1 when his teammate came back at him on the run to Turn 4 and the pair touched in a straight line, causing damage that resulted in both retiring. There have also been controversial moments between the two drivers during qualifying in Italy and at the start of the race in Russia, and Binotto says he will us the latest incident to improve the situation in future.
“I’m still convinced it is a luxury because they are both good drivers, very good drivers,” Binotto said. “They both represent a good benchmark for each other and we have seen how well they have improved, and Seb in the second half was certainly very fast. So I think overall it is still a luxury.
“What happened (on Sunday), I would say it is even lucky it happened this season, because there will be opportunities to clarify in view of next year what is not to happen. So I’m happy to take this opportunity of what happened, to clarify for the future.”
Binotto says both drivers had been given the freedom to race each other because Ferrari’s place in the constructors’ championship was already confirmed ahead of the race in Brazil.
“It’s not a matter of fining or blaming. I think that they were free to fight — we let them race and the reason for that is that we have the second place in the constructors’ (championship), so they were only battling for their position in the drivers’ championship.
“Free to fight doesn’t mean to do silly actions, especially between the two teammates and the two Ferraris. For me, it was simply a silly action.
“When we have tried to manage drivers this season, we have been criticized for doing it and when they are free to fight, it may be that we are criticized because they are free to fight. There is always a reason for what we are deciding to do and (in Brazil) it was right to let them race, certainly, because, as I said, we had secured second place in the constructors’ championship.”