Formula 1 technical director Ross Brawn says Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel should learn from Lewis Hamilton. All three were involved in collisions in the Brazilian Grand Prix, but each had a different post-race reaction.
The two Ferraris came together late in the race fighting over fourth place, with Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Alex Albon all ahead at the time. The Ferrari collision led to a Safety Car period that allowed Albon to get ahead of Hamilton, who pitted. The Mercedes driver then hit the Red Bull attempting to re-pass following the restart, earning a five-second penalty for which he took full responsibility immediately after the race.
“After tensions flared in the races following the summer break, everything seemed to have calmed down in the Ferrari dressing room,” Brawn said. “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.
“I wouldn’t want to venture an opinion on who was most at fault for the collision, 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.
“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.”
Saying he was impressed with Hamilton’s honesty in accepting his penalty (the six-time champion choosing to not even defend himself in front of the stewards), Brawn also had words of praise for Albon’s performance.
“A top-three finish looked on the cards after a great race in which he overtook Vettel with an impressive move before grittily fending off the Ferrari man’s attempts to reclaim the position. But (Albon’s) hopes of a trophy were shattered as a result of the coming together with Hamilton.
“I can understand his disappointment, but he shouldn’t dwell on it because he’s had a really good year. He was definitely the least fancied rookie this season, but he has secured his place in the sun and deserves to stay with Red Bull, having performed very consistently — even outscoring his teammate up to this weekend.
“He missed out on the podium here, but given Red Bull’s current form, the opportunity might present itself again in Abu Dhabi.”