‘Obvious who was wrong but that’s not the point’

Date published: July 15 2020

Mattia Binotto Ferrari

Charles Leclerc crashed into Sebastian Vettel on the opening lap of the Styrian Grand Prix but that’s “not the point” said Mattia Binotto.

Round two of the 2020 championship did not go according to plan for Ferrari.

The Scuderia took to the Red Bull Ring for the Friday practices with several upgrades, including a new floor and new rear wing, bolted onto its SF1000s.

That did little to improve the team’s pace with Leclerc down in ninth and Vettel P16.

Saturday’s qualifying was another disappointing one for Ferrari as Vettel finished tenth while Leclerc dropped out in Q2, only fast enough for 11th place.

That became 14th on the grid due to a penalty for impeding another driver, Daniil Kvyat, in practice.

Ferrari, though, had hoped for a better showing in the Sunday grand prix, especially as Leclerc managed to finish second at the first race at the Red Bull Ring.

It was not to be as Leclerc mounted the Turn 3 kerb, crashed into Vettel, and did enough damage to put both cars out of the grand prix.

But while pundits and fans alike put the blame for the crash squarely on Leclerc’s shoulders, even he did, Binotto continues to downplay the driver’s actions.

“It’s not only a shame, it’s disappointing,” Racer quotes the Ferrari team boss as having said.

“I would say it’s a pain to see both cars retire after only two laps.

“When you are starting in the midfield it can happen, but I think there are no excuses.

“I don’t think we need to tell who has been responsible or not, I think it’s quite obvious, but that’s not the point.

“It has been an entirely disappointing weekend and that’s the worst conclusion of a bad weekend for us.

“There’s no point to accuse or look for responsibility or fault, it’s time to react and be sure that we come back to Maranello with the right people to do it and to work united.”

The crash not only cost Ferrari the chance of scoring points but also the perfect scenario in which to evaluate the SF1000’s updates.

Binotto added to the official F1 website: “I don’t think there is much to say to the drivers.

“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.”

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