'Ferrari F1 drivers should follow Hamilton's example'
LONDON - One of Ferrari's two drivers should take a leaf out of Lewis Hamilton's book and accept blame for Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix collision, according to the Italian team's former technical director Ross Brawn.
Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc put each other out of the penultimate race of the Formula One season at Interlagos after a coming together five laps from the end with a likely podium place at stake.
Hamilton, now a six times world champion, collided on the penultimate lap with Red Bull's Thai rookie Alexander Albon and immediately recognised he was at fault.
The Mercedes driver was summoned to stewards after the race but declined the chance to defend himself, sending a message to say he accepted full responsibility.
The Briton's action resulted in a five-second penalty and demotion from third place to seventh.
"I wouldn’t want to venture an opinion on who was most at fault for the collision," Brawn, now Formula One's managing director for motorsport and also a former Mercedes team boss, said of the Ferrari collision in a review of the weekend.
"But in the cold light of day, maybe it would be good if one of them will follow Hamilton’s example and immediately admit culpability, as the champion did regarding his clash with Albon."
Small crash with big consequences
Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto described Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix collision between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc as a small crash with big consequences, and now he must deal with them.
The key concern will be to ensure that the Italian team are not destabilised going into 2020, when they could be fighting for titles as well as wins.
Vettel and Leclerc have been summoned to Ferrari's Maranello headquarters before next week's season-ending race in Abu Dhabi to go through what went on and how to prevent any recurrence.
Binotto said it would not be a question of handing out fines and blame but of the drivers recognising their mistakes and learning from them.
"There is always something you can do better but today the mistakes were the mistakes of the drivers," Binotto told reporters after the race.
"What happened today, I would say it was even lucky it happened this season because there will be an opportunity to clarify with them for it not to happen next year."
Firm action needed
Damon Hill, the 1996 world champion for Williams who is now a pundit for Sky Sports television, said some firm action was needed.
"I think you have to sit them both down and say, 'Listen guys, you can't just behave like kids with the team like this. You have a responsibility, both of you, to the team'," said the Briton.
The team always comes first for Ferrari and it could be that the terms of engagement are revised to prevent the sport's most combustible pair from clashing on track.
Mercedes, winners of the last six drivers' and constructors' titles, did something similar at the height of the rivalry between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, who retired after winning the 2016 title.
Sunday's collision, a glancing impact that put both drivers out of the race when a podium finish was a possibility, happened in an instant but had been a long time coming.Reuters