Ferrari must react quickly to regroup after the collision between Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel early in Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix, according to team principal Mattia Binotto.
Ferrari fast-tracked part of an upgrade package that was originally scheduled to appear at the Hungarian Grand Prix, allowing the team the opportunity to perform a back-to-back comparison on the same Red Bull Ring circuit. However that came to naught when Leclerc crashed into teammate Vettel on the opening lap and took both cars out of the race, and while the Monegasque took full responsibility and apologized, Binotto says he does not want open accusations, only a reaction.
“It’s not only a shame, it’s disappointing,” Binotto said. “I would say it’s a pain to see both cars retire after only two laps. When you are starting in the midfield it can happen, but I think there are no excuses.
“I don’t think we need to tell who has been responsible or not, I think it’s quite obvious, but that’s not the point. It has been an entirely disappointing weekend and that’s the worst conclusion of a bad weekend for us. There’s no point to accuse or look for responsibility or fault, it’s time to react and be sure that we come back to Maranello with the right people to do it and to work united.”
Former Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn says the current management needs to protect the team from media pressure in Italy following its disastrous weekend.
“As a team boss, you never want to see that happen, but this will hurt Ferrari even more given they had worked hard to bring their upgraded aerodynamic package to Austria a week ahead of schedule – and the collision between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc has robbed them of a chance to analyze the new package,” Brawn said.
“Charles was very good in accepting the blame for the accident but it doesn’t help. That said, it’s sport and these things can happen – and now it looks like the engineers back at the factory have a lot of work to do.
“One of the biggest problems for Ferrari is that of all the teams on the grid, they come under the closest scrutiny from the media, particularly in Italy. I know from my own experience that the media pressure in Italy can be incredibly intense, and you have to make sure it doesn’t get to your people.
“The management have to cope with it and make sure the staff maintain the faith and stay focused on what needs to be done. They aren’t going to turn it around overnight, and there’s a long road ahead of them. They need to find out if there is a fundamental problem with the car – and they need to find out fast – because clearly they are some way off the pace.”