Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel has been savaged by Formula One viewers after copping widespread blame for a crash involving his teammate, Charles Leclerc.
Red Bull's Max Verstappen won the Brazilian Grand Prix for his eighth career victory in a race that ended disastrously for both Ferrari drivers.
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Verstappen controlled nearly all the race at Interlagos, which saw a dramatic late collision between Vettel and Leclerc when fighting for fourth position. Both failed to finish.
Vettel appeared to steer left into his Ferrari teammate as both drivers approached turn three, with a small touch on the Frenchman’s Ferrari causing chaos.
The contact snapped Leclerc’s front-right suspension, causing it to snap off immediately and leaving Vettel with a puncture in his tyre.
The incident left fans fuming on social media, with the majority of anger over the crash directed at Vettel.
Vettel is a disgrace to the scarlet red overalls. Take it off his back please. Caused too much misery already take him behind the barn and put an end to it.— Alex Gouria (@alexfgouria) November 17, 2019
I think disgrace is the perfect word for Vettel today, you’re spot on there— Kay 🏳️🌈 (@kay_1773) November 17, 2019
A defending driver is entitled to hold a line and if he yeilds vettel will know he can bully him again. Crash was all vettels fault, you can not move across another driver like that until you are clear.— Richard (@Rich2086) November 17, 2019
Just on Vettel/Leclerc - Seb tried to bully his way across Charles like he did with Mark 9 years ago. No movement from Charles at all. Amazing how the cars just fell apart from such a small touch though! #F1 #BrazilGP— Thomas Maher (@thomasmaheronf1) November 17, 2019
100% vettel trying to bully him— Duncan Stone (@DuncanStone45) November 17, 2019
Vettel turned left without having to. Without being ahead.— Micha (@kaehvogel) November 17, 2019
Vettel's fault. Clearly.
That there just sums up Ferrari’s season in a nutshell.— Sean 🏴 (@Seany_CFC) November 17, 2019
Vettel. This cost Leclerc his possibility to finish 3rd for the season. Very disappointing.— mark e campagna (@markecampagna) November 17, 2019
99% of people are putting blame on Vettel, as it should.— Alvaro M. Cosio 🏁🇲🇽🇺🇸 (@amcosio) November 17, 2019
Vettels fault all day long— Mark Offredi (@markoffredi81) November 17, 2019
Definitely Vettel’s fault— Noah Diaz (@diaz_noah) November 17, 2019
Say thanks To Vettel. Another crash and fail move in his ferrari career. Charles is too good for him. Mattia, it's now the time to show your balls. Fire Vettel, ask Kimi to Come black and negociate with Sauber To promote Schumi junior. Vettel, your time is gone !!!— Kevin RNT (@LordoSTAR) November 17, 2019
‘Silly mistakes are something we should avoid’
However, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto insisted both drivers should share blame for the crash.
“[They were] free to fight, but they know that silly mistakes are something we should avoid for the team itself,” Binotto told Sky.
“Today it has been a very small contact, I have to say, but there will be time to analyse, there will be time to look at the video, I don’t want to do that in the heat [of the moment].”
“I think both of them at least have a small percentage of responsibility,” said Binotto.
Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly got his first F1 podium after finishing second ahead of six-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton.
However, Hamilton was relegated to seventh position after receiving a five-second penalty for an incident that caused Red Bull's Alexander Albon to spin, with McLaren's Carlos Sainz replacing the Mercedes driver in the top three.
Australia's Daniel Ricciardo subsequently moved up to sixth, with Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi being upgraded to fourth and fifth respectively.
"I massively apologise to Albon," said Hamilton. "Completely my fault."
Dutch driver Verstappen said "Lewis was very quick so I had to keep pushing ... we had two good moves with him, and from there onward I could control the race."
The Brazilian GP on Sunday was the penultimate race of the season, with only Abu Dhabi left on December 1.
Hamilton had already secured the season title in the previous race in the United States. His Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who did not finish in Brazil, had also secured the runner-up spot.