Ferrari rule out Mercedes-style driver management

Date published: November 23 2019

Ferrari rule out using Mercedes' "rules of engagement" with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc.

Ferrari principal Mattia Binotto doesn’t plan to use the “rules of engagement” style which Mercedes adopted in the past with his own drivers.

Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc were staring down a great opportunity for a double podium finish in Brazil, that was before Vettel swooped around the outside of his team-mate and cut back across him to make enough contact to eliminate them both from the race.

Binotto called the incident “silly”, but it was another in a series of controversial moments between the pair in 2019.

Mercedes had a similarly fiery relationship on their hands between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, one which really hotted up as the pair battled for the Drivers’ Championship from 2014-16.

But to try and limit accidents principal Toto Wolff came up with the “rules of engagement” for his drivers. But, Binotto dismissed the suggestion of a similar strategy being used by Ferrari.

“I don’t know what Toto [Wolff] did,” Binotto told Autosport.com.

“I don’t want to judge. I’m not interested as well.

“But certainly we need to clarify with who is in the team, what is silly and what’s not.

“We are at the limit of the actions. But when you have a crash, something was wrong, no doubt.

“When you’re free to fight, you’re free to fight and it’s only a driving matter how much you can take as a risk.

“But certainly here the risk was not necessary.”

Binotto has since held “clear the air” talks with both Vettel and Leclerc at Ferrari’s HQ in Maranello, and it seems that all three parties will head to the season finale in Abu Dhabi with the drama of Brazil firmly behind them.

“Since last Sunday, Mattia and the drivers have spoken every day, as they would normally do anyway,” a Ferrari spokesperson told the BBC.

“There was no official summit nor video conference.

“The air is now fully cleared and we are focusing on Abu Dhabi.”

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