After Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel crashed on the opening lap of the Styrian Grand Prix, Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto said that he does not intend to blame his drivers, but focus on the development work.
Just like in Brazil at the end of the 2019 championship, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel were involved in a clash at today’s Styrian Grand Prix that saw both drivers retire from the race. While at Sao Paolo it was the German who caused the crash, this time, the Monegasque driver seemed to be too optimistic when trying to find a non-existing slot at Turn 3.
In the get-together, both drivers’ SF1000 have suffered damages that the team was unable to fix. The clash not only deprived the Scuderia of collecting championship points, but it also meant that Ferrari was unable to gather vital data on its latest upgrades including a new floor and a new front wing.
Labelling the incident as painful, Mattia Binotto stressed that his team needs to look ahead and puts the focus on improving its currently underperforming 2020 F1 car, the SF1000.
"It is painful, very painful, to see both our cars back in the garage after just a couple of laps. Incidents like this can always happen when you start in the middle of the pack and it’s pointless to apportion blame.
„It’s the worst possible end to a weekend that was already very disappointing. It’s true we took no real part in the race, but we can’t hide behind the collision that eliminated both cars. However, now is not the time for accusations. Instead, we must just get on with our work. Difficult moments can bring out the best in people and I’m sure that will be the case now."
Taking the blame for the incident, Leclerc has confessed that he was too eager to gain position on the first lap. The Monegasque said it was a pity not to test Ferrari’s new upgrades that the team fast-tracked for this weekend in order to improve on its currently underperforming car.
"What happened today is clearly my fault, there’s nothing else to say. I take full responsibility. I made a mistake and apologising is not enough. We need to take every opportunity and today we could have had one because even though we might not have the performance to collect a lot of points at the moment, every single point is important and anything can happen in the race, as we saw last week.
„But we didn’t bring home any points. I was so eager to do well for the team and I thought I might be able to gain three or four places and I went for it. But in fact the opportunity wasn’t there. It’s not easy for the whole team who worked hard to bring upgrades here. We are going through a difficult time and we don’t need this.
Sebastian Vettel said that he did not think that anyone would launch an attack at the turmoil at Turn 3 He said: "I was really looking forward to racing today and had a good feeling about it.”
„I didn’t get a very good start, losing a bit of momentum off the line. Then, it was very busy in Turn 3 and I was already fighting two cars. I had the inside line so I was not expecting anyone to try anything. I could not see that Charles was coming and unfortunately, I had nowhere else to go as there just wasn’t enough space.”
The German wants to move on from the incident and open a new chapter at this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix. „However, we are both mature enough to move on from this incident. It is very disappointing, but in my mindset, I am generally optimistic and at least I don’t have to wait long to be back in the car, so let’s hope that Hungary will be a better place for us,” Vettel concluded.