‘We can’t hide behind the collision’ says Binotto after ‘worst conclusion to a very bad weekend’
Ferrari’s Styrian Grand Prix lasted just three corners before Charles Leclerc lost control of his SF1000, wiping out his team mate Sebastian Vettel’s rear wing and causing race-ending damage to himself. But with Vettel and Leclerc having started the race 10th and 14th respectively, Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto was blaming car performance as much as his drivers for the crash.
Ferrari endured an uphill Styrian Grand Prix weekend, fast-tracking front wing and rear diffuser upgrades onto both cars which failed to yield significant gains in Saturday’s wet qualifying – while their hopes of seeing a more positive outcome in the race, after Leclerc had finished on the podium at the previous weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, were dashed before the end of Lap 1.
And despite Leclerc accepting blame for the crash, Binotto felt the team had to accept a responsibility too…
“I don’t think there is much to say to the drivers,” said Binotto in the aftermath of the crash. “Incidents like this can always happen when you start in the middle of the pack and it’s pointless to apportion blame.
“It’s true we took no real part in the race, but we can’t hide behind the collision that eliminated both cars.”
Speaking to the media after the crash, a philosophical Vettel had lamented a missed opportunity to try and dial in the team’s upgrades, which also included a floor tried out on Leclerc’s car, saying: “That is a shame… we would really like to get the race on the line and some laps to see where the car is, but unfortunately we will not get that.”
And looking ahead to this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix, Binotto called on his team to continue to “work united” to get to the bottom of their struggles, which have seen them score just 19 points to Mercedes’ 80 in the opening two races of the season.
“It’s somehow a pain to conclude a race in such a way after only two laps,” said Binotto. “I think it’s the worst conclusion of a very bad weekend for us. I think it’s not time to look for responsibility or accuse, it’s time to work united. I’m pretty sure that back home we’ve got the right people to progress as soon as possible.”