'Follow Hamilton's example': F1 chief's spray for Ferrari drivers

Andrew Reid

Ross Brawn, the managing director of motorsports at F1, has hit out at Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc over the embarrassing incident that wiped them both out of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Vettel was savaged by Formula One viewers after copping widespread blame for the crash involving his Ferrari teammate, 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.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto insisted both drivers "have a small percentage of responsibility" for the crash, although neither man publicly owned up to it.

Brawn, the former Ferrari technical director, said both drivers could take a leaf out of Lewis Hamilton's book after the F1 champion immediately came out to apologise for a crash that robbed Alex Albon of what would have been a first career podium finish.

"I wouldn't want to venture an opinion on who was most at fault for the collision," said Brawn.

"But in the cold light of day, maybe it would be good if one of them will follow Hamilton's example and immediately admit culpability, as the champion did regarding his clash with Albon.

Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel crashed into one another at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Neither Charles Leclerc or Sebastian Vettel publicly admitted fault over the crash in Brazil. Pic: Getty

"If Ferrari really wants to put an end to Mercedes' dominance, not only does it need to provide its drivers with a more competitive car next year, it must also ensure that incidents like this one are not repeated.

"Formula 1 is a team sport, especially so in Maranello."

Brawn said it was up to Ferrari chiefs to ensure their drivers were on the same page and willing to put the team ahead of themselves.

"After tensions flared in the races following the summer break, everything seemed to have calmed down in the Ferrari dressing room," added Brawn.

"But now, Mattia Binotto faces the tough task of getting things back on track and indeed he said just that in his interviews after the race.

"He had to get stuck in and tell the drivers to face up to their responsibilities, which in Maranello always means putting the interests of the team ahead of those of the individual, which was not the case in Sunday's race."

With agencies