Drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc have maintained a good relationship despite a few controversial “moments” between them this season, says team principal Mattia Binotto.
In qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix, Vettel was unhappy that his teammate did not get in a position to give him a tow early enough in Q3. In Russia, the pair disagreed over the way they each approached the start. Most recently, the pair collided in the closing laps of the Brazilian GP.
Binotto professes happiness that their relationship survived the earlier incidents: “I think that what I read or hear is quite different to what I see internally,” Binotto explains. “It is true that in Monza it was not an easy situation to manage. They had to clarify, and they spoke face-to-face and openly. The same happened after Russia.
“From the start of the season, when they did not know each other, they have (developed) a good relationship and they are going well together. Certainly (Brazil) did not help, but I don’t see it is a drama; I see it more as an opportunity in the view of next year to clarify if needed.”
Binotto says he will not necessarily follow Mercedes boss Toto Wolff’s lead in implementing a code of conduct between his drivers to avoid a repeat of such incidents, having told them they were free to race each other as Ferrari had already secured second in the constructors’ championship.
“I don’t know what Toto did. I don’t want to judge and I am not interested either. But certainly we need to clarify in the team what is silly and what is not — what the limits of the actions are.
“When you have a crash, something is broken, no doubt. When you are free to fight, you are free to fight — and it is only a driving matter how much you can take as a risk. But certainly, (in Brazil), the risk was not necessary…”