Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto delivered a strong message last week to Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc who were made aware that their clash in Brazil was “not acceptable”.
Vettel and Leclerc came together in the closing stages of the race at Interlagos as they were fighting for fourth, the damage sustained in the contact forcing both men into retirement.
In a Q&A session with Ferrari fans ahead of this weekend’s season finale in Abu Dhabi, Binotto confirmed that “clear the air” talks had taken place with both drivers.
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“We did it the Sunday after the race, but we did it as well in the following days, during the week,” said the Scuderia boss.
“We discussed together, all three together, individually, and I think that they understand what happened was not acceptable. And we know how to move forward.”
On the track, growing tensions between the two drivers have been perceptible, especially in Sochi where Vettel ignored a call from the Ferrari pit wall to yield to Leclerc while in the lead, reneging on a pre-race agreement with the Monegasque.
But off the track, Binotto insisted the relationship between the two drivers was a good one, and even light-hearted at times.
“The truth is they have fun together, as they enjoy a good and harmonious relationship, which is maybe quite different to what you might read or think,” explained Binotto.
“You could think that they are in conflict on the track, but that is not the case.
“For example, I remember that after the controversy in Russia, the three of us were together in a restaurant in Japan, having fun.
“They even grabbed each other’s phones to see what photos they had on them. It’s always fun and it’s nice that they enjoy each other’s company.
“They are good teammates because they are very fast and they are good teammates because they are very good team players.”
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