Binotto held talks with Vettel and Leclerc over ‘unacceptable’ Brazil crash

2019 F1 season

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Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto confirmed he held a discussion with drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc following the collision which put both drivers out of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

However in a video released by the team Binotto did not divulge whether either driver had been held primarily responsible for the crash.

“We [discussed] it the Sunday after the race but we did it as well in the following days,” he said. “We discussed all three together, [and] individually, and I think they understand that what happened was not acceptable and we know how to move forward.”

Binotto insisted the relationship between the pair remains good despite a series of conflicts between them at Monza, Singapore, Sochi and Interlagos.

“There are plenty of funny stories, partly because the truth is they have fun together as they enjoy a good and harmonious relationship, which is maybe quite different to what you might read or think. You could think they are in conflict on track but that is not the case.

“For example I remember that after the controversy in Russia, the three of us were together in a restaurant in Japan, having fun, they even grabbed each other’s phones to see what photos they had on them. It’s always fun and it’s nice that they enjoy each other’s company.”

Vettel will finish the year fifth in the championship while Leclerc could overtake Max Verstappen for third in the standings this weekend. Binotto said “it has been a very good season for both of them.

“A few mistakes, no doubt, but I think that Seb improved all through the season, he has been very fast in the second half, he got quite confident with the car. Charles on the other side has been very fast since the very start and I think he’s got now even a good benchmark with Seb and he’s always pushing him to do even better.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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55 comments on “Binotto held talks with Vettel and Leclerc over ‘unacceptable’ Brazil crash”

  1. Those pictures say it all, don’t they. I’m guessing Vettel will have had a tougher individual talk with Binotto than Leclerc…

    1. Agreed, those pictures makes it very clear who was responcible, in a way which the live feed failed to convey.
      Its just a shame the person responcible isn’t man enough to admit it.

    2. Im not a fan for both SV and CL, but very obvious that was SV fault. Very obvious he moved into CL. I guess CL was on the racing line since in the picture shows CL on the same line as MV in front of them. CL only move more to his left because SV squeeze him to the left.

  2. Didn’t they say this last time though, that they’re all really good friends off track and there’s no drama? Like maybe that’s true and they both are really great off track but it’s not off track that anyone really cares about is it? It’s the fact ON track they don’t seem to trust each other, they don’t help one another and neither trust the team to back them. The relationship off track is irrelevant and if Ferrari are only interested in keeping up appearances then they’ve learnt nothing from these clashes and they’ll keep happening and eventually start costing them race wins and titles.

  3. Let me guess he didn’t blame anyone even though it was obvious to anyone with a basic understanding of racecraft it was all vettels fault

  4. Perhaps Seb is just confused, thinking this whole time that he has been racing for Scuderia Fare Errori. Hopefully Binotto set him straight!

  5. Leclerc could overtake Max Verstappen for third in the standings this weekend.

    Well, I guess that’s one option for the weekend. I suspect the main goal will be that Sebastian beats Charles. To achieve that Sebastian has to win and Charles has to finish 8th or less. You could throw in 7th and the Fastest Lap point as well, but you can’t trust getting that FLAP point, another driver might get it … like Charles.

  6. This is all pretty tiring and pointless. Binotto can hold as many talks as he wants to, neither of them will change. Just replace one of them with a beta/slower driver and get your focus back on things like improving the car and strategies.

    1. They do have a slower driver already and it is Vettel. What they need is the one who’s cool when things immediately doesn’t go their way.

      1. You mean like Kimi?

        1. He said “Cool”, not “made of ice”.

    2. Yes replace slower german driver with
      Alonso ;)

  7. It is unfortunate that Racefans chooses not to link or embed the actual video. I’d like to know the reasoning behind this.

    For convenience, here is the link to Binotto’s q&a video, published today:

    1. I prefer not to leave myself at the mercy of whether someone else chooses to delete a social media post.

  8. LEC left room. VET made past. LEC did not yield any bit. VET started the usual ground cover. Slight touch. Ka-boom!
    That’s it. Racing incident. Of course VET’s covering was the active factor of the crash. But passively, LEC contributed as well because, every overtaking, both drivers usually move. LEC chose not to, which is his right (i.e. he’s not wrong!). But when there is contact, one could say: you had it coming.

    By a management standpoint, there is no way Mattia can blame one without incurring in harm. Even VET having more responsibility, you can’t say he caused it alone. In the end, both were just racing. It’s not like any of them tried to screw the other. Best he can do is to induce the drivers towards an epiphany: the only way to rebuild trust there is for one to conceive naturally (and it is VET’s turn). But at Ferrari it’s never about the drivers, it’s all about the team. Ergo, that pickle is gonna escalate by 2020. I can’t wait, but still I fear the car won’t be at the drivers level.

    The reality is, there is no turning back. They’re gonna be battling inch by inch for the primacy on track. All Ferrari should do is move outta way and let both do their job, making it clear that it will not take sides. As we know, it won’t happen though, and that’s exactly why everything is gonna sink.

    1. @niefer Except Leclerc did move to avoid Vettel. It’s extremely obvious in the images above.

      1. @mashiat Frames taken from a video feed that is way more eloquent. After all, by frames there were some who managed to point out LEC turned into VET. In the end, had him really moved, there would be no contact, since VET didn’t swerved at him. Again, his right, not wrong at all, but he had it coming.

        1. @niefer

          In the end, had him really moved, there would be no contact, since VET didn’t swerved at him.

          If two lines are moving in the same general direction, but at two different angles, at some point they’ll meet. Leclerc did move to the left to accommodate Vettel by giving him room on the outside to go past. But why should he move even further to accommodate another driver swiping across the straight when alongside? Most competent F1 drivers don’t do so 40% of the way down the straight. Had Vettel done so as they were approaching the braking point, I can absolutely justify him moving over to make it harder for Leclerc. But midway down the straight when you are basically already past the car, and you have a large speed delta? That’s just terrible judgement. I personally struggle to apportion even 1% blame on Leclerc for this incident.

          1. Oh, c’mon, @mashiat! It’s simpler than that: it doesn’t matter why, the fact is one came by, the other didn’t avoid effectively enough, both crashed. What is debatable is was it deliberately nasty or temerary? IMO, I think it’s safe to say it wasn’t, since VET didn’t swerved. It’s not that I blame LEC, but he put himself in a position he can’t cry over the spilt milk. And actually, he isn’t.

            In the end, I don’t see the matter as a blameworthy, but responsibilities are in order to be taken. However, I don’t feel management taking public stances would help in any way, because the only way it can be harmonized is Vettel arrogating the responsibility. To accomplish that is a really narrow window which I don’t see anyone at Ferrari capable of managing.

    2. Lol have you ever raced anything, no driver in Leclerc’s position is ever going to move. Vettel just made another mistake by thinking he had already re passed Leclerc and started turning left to defend. Like always vettel has horrible car awareness and ended up hitting Leclerc. Leclerc did literally nothing wrong he even tried not to crash by turning away from vettel. Vettel like max are the type of drivers that you have to leave extra room for

      1. What made it worst was Vettel’s reactions on the radio, once again in complete denial of his part in the incident.

      2. @carlosmedrano If you read carefully, you’re gonna find me saying LEC did nothing wrong. Now, as a proven driver you must be, feel free to lecture the likes of Prost who had to back off countless times because Senna was covering his ground.

        no driver in Leclerc’s position is ever going to move.

        Leclerc did literally nothing wrong he even tried not to crash by turning away from vettel. Vettel like max are the type of drivers that you have to leave extra room for

        Ohh, this is delightful: LEC does not move turning away without leaving the extra space for the craze. Well, thanks for disproving yourself.

        1. @niefer you people are just making yourself look ridiculous, just stop with the phantom excuses.

          Then again if your idol cannot acknowledge his own BLATANT errors then we can’t expect his minions to I suppose.

          1. Excuse me, but what the heck, @keithcollantine? What am I saying that is more inappropriate than what this guy said?

  9. Makes you wonder whats keeping Ferrari from cutting Sebs contract short and bringing back Alonso.

    1. Nothing makes me wonder that, doing so would be a big step backwards. Even as a fan of Alonso’s driving (not his politics) I would question any team boss who would hire Alonso given the younger talent available.

      1. What younger talent is currently available for Ferrari though? Russell can’t join, Norris can’t join, Ocon can’t join etc. Only option they have is Giovinazzi, who can’t even beat Ferrari’s worst driver over the past 6 seasons. If you’re talking about Hulkenberg, he’d be an alright option, but you know that he isn’t exceptionally quick and there is some evidence out there that he isn’t the easiest to work with either. If you have the option of Alonso or Vettel, you pick Alonso. Yes, he absolutely brings his own issues, but the one thing you can rely on him is that he will maximize points in a way Vettel can’t, and he wouldn’t have silly, pathetic incidents like Vettel.

        1. @mashiat Well, if I’m to dump Vettel that’s because I believe more in Leclerc. Ergo, there is no way I’m bringing Alonso in to start another war. Ricciardo, for instance, would be better: racks up his points just alike and does not unleash hell when things don’t go his way.

          1. I’ll second that.
            I don’t know how is contract is set, but i’m sure Ricarddo would jump at the chance to join Ferrrari.

            I would very likely do more to advance their car development as well. Testing and feedback etc..

          2. @niefer Last I checked, Ricciardo was not a free agent. Renault would probably ask for 20-30m in compensation to get him out of his contract.

          3. @mashiat nor is Vettel, whose contract certainly would be more expensive to break. I figured we were talking about 2021.

    2. If they got rid of Vettel or even kimi in 2018 for Alonso ferrari could have had a championship but instead they wanted pr drivers and look how that worked out for them

      1. @carlosmedrano

        I think Leclerc will give Alonso a run for he’s money and that will start a meltdown

    3. hmm… they don’t have 150 mil lying around? haha

  10. I still think that it wasn’t worth giving a penalty for Vettel. Leclerc basically did the same thing on Norris earlier on in the race, and it was actually more of a lunge than slowly moving across the track (which is what vettel did). It was only Norris’s reactions that avoided that being quite some hit. What vettel did was also not necessary, but most of the time, a tiny touch like that wouldn’t have resulted in more than the the tryes just losing some of their marks. While Leclerc won’t have expected Vettel to do what he did, he could have moved over just like Norris did for him when he did far greater change of line than Vettel. I think this may be part of the reason for no further investigation.

    I certainly mostly blame Vettel, but think Leclerc also had input towards it as he could have avoided it taking place. Norrs avoided what could well have been the same when Leclerc turned into him.

    Leclerc also did basically the same move again on Bottas in Hungary. Turned in on him when he had no real need to and gave Bottas a puncture. He was carrying more than enough speed to get by anyway and he actually went offline to cover Bottas when he hadn’t fully past him.

    If they are being consistent with their penalties this year, it seems to be the case and they are indeed rather relaxed about them this year and allowing more to happen without drivers getting penalties.

    1. @thegianthogweed

      I still think that it wasn’t worth giving a penalty for Vettel

      Largely agree with your comment, that Vettel is primarily to blame.

      I don’t know why, but I think that stewards should be less willing to apply penalties to incidents that involve teammates. I probably think that because the consequences of teammates are larger than if the incident happened between rival teams. Both cars went out anyway as a result, which was punishment enough.

  11. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
    27th November 2019, 19:45

    Not really the point of the article or interview, but I think it’s interesting that Binotto says

    I think that [the 4-time world champion] improved all through the season

    while he says the F1 sophomore

    on the other side has been very fast since the very start.

    You would expect the descriptions to be the other way around.

    1. I noticed the same… It’s ok to say a sophomore improved during the season and became a benchmark for the 4 time WDC… But to say a 4 time WDC improved over a season to become a benchmark for the new kid who was on the ball straight away seems kind of depreciating to Vettel’s performance.

      It is true though.

  12. Seb out, Hulk in. You heard it here first!!

    1. That would be a very expensive driver change. I would expected that Ferrari has a lot of power over Seb in next years contract negotiations.

      Perhaps next year they sign Bottas? He is on a one year contract and is a steady points finisher. This in turn leaves room at Mercedes, presumably for Russel to be promoted seeing as they have just released Ocon.

      1. Bottas is the best #2 in the business right now. I actually think he’d fit in perfectly at Ferrari.

        If they can’t get Bottas, then Ricciardo should be the next driver on their list. He won’t play #2, but he’ll make sure that there is no disharmony within the team even though they’re both competitive drivers.

        I think their 3rd best option would actually be either a Hulkenberg or a Sainz. I don’t think Perez is a strong team player, or else, he would be a strong candidate as well.

    2. @velocityboy Honestly, if I’m HUL, I’d get a 3rd role at Mercedes looking for 2021. BOT is dead meat and RUS will peak inside Williams.

  13. Mark in Florida
    27th November 2019, 21:40

    At Ferrari it’s all about politics. Tell no truths unless you have to, only tell what you want people to know and nothing else. These guys are looking to knock each other off in the race and so far Sebs the one that’s been stumbling. Reminds me of when Ricciardo took his measure and found the champ wanting. Leclercs measuring Seb now and he’s nervous and there’s nowhere to hide except behind old Binotto. So it seems that Binotto doesn’t want to ruffle Sebs feathers by placing blame to close to where it should be. We’ll see how it goes at the last race of the season. Personally I don’t see Leclerc backing off any, he’s taking a stand for himself because of the politics that are going on right now. Ferraris backing the wrong horse for too long now they need to move ahead and get another driver that can maximize the position and points without losing their mind at the wrong time in the race.

    1. Randy in Florida
      27th November 2019, 22:45

      I sincerely felt Vettel wanted to take Leclerc out. Vettel cannot stand the thought of this “Ferrari Rookie” kicking his butt.
      If they think for a minute that theses “talks” are going to moderate the drive each driver has to be the best, they are sadly mistaken… Next year is coming and my money is squarely on Leclerc.

      1. To be honest a Red bull rookie did kick his butt… So I would think he should be used to it by now

  14. “I think that Seb improved all through the season”
    Isn’t the point of hiring a multiple world champion that they can jump in and be quick from the get go?

  15. What sad place is Ferrari ….

  16. I’m not as interested in finding fault as much as finding out why LEC’s right front suspension self destructed from nothing more than a little rub.

    Open wheel cars rub all the time.
    Tires… excuse me, Tyres go flat from rubs and wing end plate bumps all the time.
    Sure, they sometimes tear up the suspension if the driver continues on the shredded tire.

    It looked to me like the outer lip of LEC’s rim departed and let the entire intact tire walk part way off the rim.
    While that’s Shirley enough unbalanced mass swinging around out there to do real damage, what allowed the tire to escape like that?

    1. That’s actually not a bad observation. Is the body so regid that contact on the rear left, transfered energy to the front right of the car?

    2. Suspension is designed to be strong on the vertical axis, not horizontal. 

      At those speeds, downforce would be massive and grip is really high, so a little knock sideways isn’t going to make the front wheels slide across the track. For whatever reason Leclerc’s tyre remained intact, so all the energy went sideways into his suspension. Something has to give with that sort of contact.

  17. I don’t see it as self destructing directly from the rub, rather the tyre delaminated at high speeds. Oddly rather that most high speed de-laminations that occur in a relatively balanced way this one seemed to become unbalanced just after the rub from Vet then the impact of the tyre material with the ground and suspension caused the failure.

    1. It was almost as if the lip of VET’s rim acted like a tire machine and rolled the outside bead of LEC’s tire right off his rim.

  18. roberto giacometti
    28th November 2019, 3:28

    The time for talking is long gone – the damage is done.
    The time is for tearing up Vettel’s contract.
    Unless a blown diffuser is involved , he struggles, then gets desperate, then takes out his team mate.
    If Enzo were still with us, he would have been canned already !!

  19. Binotto? Binochio?!
    Talk? I’d be shouting very loudly at SV.
    A. SV needs a bloody good slap & run right off from the team.
    His RedMist moments. Yes there have been many of them, are all inexcusable.
    How he hasn’t injured or even killed another driver is only a miracle. He’s a clear & present danger on the track.
    B. CL needs a well done pat on the back & keep it up young man!
    C. Ferrari need to grab another one of the good young drivers asap for next season.
    My vote would be for Lando Norris. Already doing extremely well in a car that’s not front running.
    LN is good, even tempered, cheerful & always smiling. Be a brilliant team mate for CL.

  20. Me say alone ramp.

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