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Brazilian GP | The clash that hurts. Leclerc and Vettel cohabitation at a turning point?

The last images a team principal wants to see happened to Ferrari with 5 laps to go before the chequered flag at Interlagos

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Brazilian GP | The clash that hurts. Leclerc and Vettel cohabitation at a turning point?
Fuente imagen: Jerry Andre/Motorlat Images

It reminds the Turkey’s clash between the two Red Bulls of Vettel and Webber. It was the 2009 and the teammates were caught in one of the most (in)famous team accidents of the whole F1 history. Christian Horner had to survive also to the ‘Multi 21’ affaire in Sepang 2011, with Vettel ignoring the team orders and going for a win.

Exactly ten years later, happens that the rewind button has been pushed. Lap 66 of 71. Charles Leclerc has just passed the German at the inside of the first bend of the Senna chicane: Vettel had suffered the lost of the second position due to Alex Albon maiden re start after the Safety Car deployed for Bottas retirement. A shy line-crossing opposed to the Monegasque, as the two cars headed to the Reta Oposta straight in slipstream.

Leclerc decided then to opt for the internal line, trying to protect the following braking point; but the slipstream was enough for Vettel in trying the overtake still in the straight. In half distance of the straight the German was aside the teammate, almost kissing the white line between track and grass. When passing the #16, the German started to slightly converge into the middle of the track. There the tiniest contact ever seen was made reality, but the consequences were far bigger: the dismounting of the tyre and the break of the suspension for Leclerc and a puncture for Vettel were the preamble for the retirement of both cars.

Leclerc and Vettel collide and retire from the race. Gasly reach the second place in fron of Hamilton just on the finish line!

"We are disappointed and saddened, the two drivers must realize that they have damaged the entire team. They were free to compete, but they are small mistakes that are paid for as a team and that's not good” told Mattia Binotto to Sky Sport Italia.

Briefing? We are also considering not doing it. I think that at certain times it is right to give a strong signal to the team, to the drivers.  There are some things that I don't think are going to happen and, therefore, we also need to give a signal and, probably, we won't do it.  I've already talked to both before any interview, because I think it was important.  I think they need to understand that things always happen in two.  Each of them will have a part of the blame".

Leclerc felt "Sorry about the team. Whose responsibility? I prefer not to talk about this, but the situation will not affect our relationship [with Vettel]".

On the other hand, Seb Vettel was cautious and doubtful. "I think it's a shame for the team, we would have gotten a better result and deserved it in my opinion. We were in a fight, it was an aggressive duel. I don't know why we touched each other: I was going straight".

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