Ferrari Team Principal, Mattia Binotto reprimanded both drivers for violating necessary safety protocols over the Grand Prix weekend.
Following the Austrian Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc took an ill-advised trip back home. On the other hand, his teammate Sebastian Vettel was seen talking to Red Bull Team Principal Christian Horner and advisor Dr. Helmut Marko, without having donned a mask.
Charles Leclerc wasn’t the only driver to leave Spielberg after the race. Race winner Valtteri Bottas also spent a few days in Monaco, the only difference being that Bottas never left his ‘bubble’.
F1 has gone to great lengths to ensure racing resumes despite the ongoing pandemic. The FIA and F1 have implemented strict guidelines and safety protocols to ensure the F1 paddock can race as a group at different venues.
F1 issued a warning to Charles Leclerc but the Monegasque clarified that he was tested twice before entering his F1 bubble again.
Sebastian Vettel, on the other hand, landed in hot water after images emerged showing him speaking to Horner and Marko without a mask. Team principal Mattia Binotto asserted that the entire team must pay attention to safety guidelines.
“The instructions are for Charles and Seb [but] the entire team we need to pay attention. We know how important it is to be here and to race for the entire circus. Being distracted on the protocols is not great, we need to be strict.
“So, we need to raise our concentration, our attention. I think both drivers understood they did something wrong. I’m pretty sure they will pay more attention in the future,” said Binotto as quoted by The Race.
So far, F1 has confirmed no cases of Coronavirus after testing over 4000 drivers, teams, and personnel. An encouraging statistic, which only strengthens F1’s plan of a ‘biosphere’ within the paddock.
Despite their recent escapades, Leclerc and Vettel face a bigger challenge on track this weekend. Ferrari endured an embarrassing qualifying session last weekend and is desperate to deliver some solid results.
While the team has brought in some minor upgrades, Q3 will indicate if Ferrari’s updates are a hit or a miss.