Brazilian Grand Prix: Ferrari could ban Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc from racing each other

Philip Duncan
The Independent
Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel: Getty
Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel: Getty

Ferrari bosses will this week decide whether to stop Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc from racing each other after they crashed out of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Vettel and Leclerc are due to arrive at Ferrari’s Maranello headquarters to explain how they came to collide on lap 66 of Sunday’s chaotic race.

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Mercedes were forced to revise their rules of engagement after Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg crashed for a third time in the final year of their fractious relationship as team-mates.

And Ferrari will consider reining in their drivers to avoid a repeat of Sunday’s embarrassing accident.

“We need to sit down and decide where the limits are to make sure these things don’t happen anymore,” said Mattia Binotto, the Ferrari team principal.

“When we have tried to manage the drivers before we have been criticised. When they are free to fight we have been criticised, too.

“But we need to clarify what is silly, what is not, and what is the limit. When you have a crash there is no doubt that something has gone wrong.”

Vettel’s partnership with Leclerc has proved troubling for Ferrari with both drivers vying for top spot in the team.

Vettel was signed by Ferrari to end a drivers’ title drought which extends back to 2007, but Leclerc, a decade younger than the four-time world champion, has emerged as the team’s star for the future.

Vettel’s £36million-a-season deal with Ferrari expires at the end of next year.

Sebastian Vettel attends a press conference (AFP via Getty Images)
Sebastian Vettel attends a press conference (AFP via Getty Images)

“I am still convinced it is a luxury to have them in the same team because they are both very good drivers and a benchmark for each other,” added Binotto.

“What I read or hear, is different to what I see internally with them. They have a good relationship, but certainly what happened on Sunday may not help that.”

Hamilton, who was demoted to seventh following his late collision with Red Bull’s Alex Albon, said both Vettel and Leclerc will have been wounded by the events at Interlagos.

Hamilton collided with former Mercedes team-mate Rosberg at the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix, and then in Spain and Austria two years later as they fought for the championship.

“I have experienced it first hand,” said the six-time world champion. “The burden is that there are so many people involved with the team that it is not just about you.

“And when all those people are relying on you to do your job and something like that happens, it is not a great feeling.”

PA

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