Brazilian Grand Prix – Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc have been cleared by the race stewards in Brazil after their late race clash.
Update: The stewards have taken no further action regarding Vettel and Leclerc’s race ending clash, saying that neither driver was predominantly at fault.
Both Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc were eliminated from the race in the closing stages after colliding. With Leclerc pitting under the Safety Car for fresh Softs, he dived past Sebastian Vettel into Turn 1 to take P4 away from his teammate. Vettel regrouped and came back at Leclerc down the back straight, drawing alongside as the pair closed rapidly on the braking point for Turn 4.
However, Vettel appeared to move across Leclerc’s bows and the pair made light contact – Vettel’s left rear touched Leclerc’s front right. The respective tyres immediately failed on both cars and, with severe damage as a result, both pulled over and stopped at the side of the track.
“I overtook through Turn 1, which I enjoyed, and then I had to watch closely through Turn 3 as I knew Seb would come back and try again.” explained Leclerc as a result. “He went around the outside, where there was only a little space, but I had left the space. Then, as we came to the end of the straight, he started to move to the left a little bit and squeeze me to the inside. We were very close, and it happened very quickly. As soon as he moved to the inside, we made contact and I had a puncture.”
Asked about whether he had spoken to Vettel after the collision, he said: “Not yet, I have spoken with Mattia [Binotto – Ferrari team boss] but that’s it.”
“I haven’t seen Seb yet but I think we are mature enough to put this behind us. We feel extremely sorry for the team with both cars not finishing. That’s very disappointing but, for the future, we will put that behind us and continue to work together.”
Vettel was much more unwilling to discuss the incident, saying: “I didn’t have much space on the right, I had a better run out of Turn 2 and tried to pass. That’s it.”
“It’s a shame for the team that we didn’t finish, and that’s priority.”