By Alan Baldwin
LONDON (Reuters) – One of Ferrari’s two drivers should take a leaf out of Lewis Hamilton’s book and accept blame for Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix collision, according to the Italian team’s former technical director Ross Brawn.
Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc put each other out of the penultimate race of the Formula One season at Interlagos after a coming together five laps from the end with a likely podium place at stake.
Hamilton, now a six times world champion, collided on the penultimate lap with Red Bull’s Thai rookie Alexander Albon and immediately recognised he was at fault.
The Mercedes driver was summoned to stewards after the race but declined the chance to defend himself, sending a message to say he accepted full responsibility.
The Briton’s action resulted in a five-second penalty and demotion from third place to seventh.
“I wouldn’t want to venture an opinion on who was most at fault for the collision,” Brawn, now Formula One’s managing director for motorsport and also a former Mercedes team boss, said of the Ferrari collision in a review of the weekend.
“But in the cold light of day, maybe it would be good if one of them will follow Hamilton’s example and immediately admit culpability, as the champion did regarding his clash with Albon.”
The Ferrari drivers have been summoned to Maranello for a full analysis of what happened to ensure the internal rivalry does not have a negative impact on the 2020 campaign.
Team boss Mattia Binotto said on Sunday that he wanted the drivers to recognise their mistakes, and Brawn agreed something had to be done.
“If Ferrari really wants to put an end to Mercedes’ dominance, not only does it need to provide its drivers with a more competitive car next year, it must also ensure that incidents like this one are not repeated,” he said.
“Formula One is a team sport, especially so in Maranello.”
Mercedes have won the last six constructors’ and drivers’ titles in a row while Ferrari’s last world champion was Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin; Editing by Hugh Lawson)