When Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc took each other out during the Brazilian Grand Prix, the fans were understandably furious. Many blamed a bone-headed move from Vettel as the primary culprit behind the double Ferrari retirement.
So, a number of Charles Leclerc fans hurled abuse at the German driver for costing Ferrari a podium. However, as angry as he was about the incident, Charles Leclerc still defended his partner indirectly.
I want to thank Charles Leclerc for teaching his fans how to behave and respect other drivers, especially the driver is his teammate. Hope his 'too fanatic' fans can learn from this🙂 pic.twitter.com/N5eEWq6LQA
— Syifa Maulani (@SyifaMaulani7) November 20, 2019
In fact, one fan had his account suspended and Leclerc even reported it on social media. Meanwhile, Vettel insisted that he did not trigger the crash by driving into Leclerc. Speaking to the media, he said, “No. I was going straight. I had a better run out of the chicane, tried to pass, and then we touched.”
Leclerc also insisted that he left room for his team mate. “I overtook in turn one. Then on the run to turn four I closed the door.”
“I was aware he was on the outside, I left a little space but enough for him. And then I think he tried to squeeze me a little bit towards the inside. And we were very close so we touched straightaway and I had a puncture.”
The bad news was that both drivers have been summoned to the Maranello factory to explain themselves. Although Scuderia Ferrari imposed team orders on its drivers earlier this year, they had the freedom to battle each other in Brazil. Of course, this decision has backfired in the team’s faces, in other words a double retirement.
According to team principal Mattia Binotto, “When we tried to manage the drivers this season we have been criticised [for] doing it. And when they are free to fight we may be criticised because of ‘free to fight’.”
“I think there is always a reason for what we are deciding to do and today it was right to let them race, certainly, because we [already] secured the second place in the constructors championship.”