Both Ferrari drivers are to blame for their Interlagos crash according to outspoken 1997 Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve who claims the pair were trying to out-do one another during a thrilling race in Sao Paulo.
It was a defining moment in the civil war between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc when they collided on lap 66 while running fourth and fifth respectively, the pair reacting in anger in the aftermath of the inevitable.
The well-reported coming together ended with both Ferraris parked at the side of the Interlagos track, their drivers rendered spectators. Another embarrassing capitulation by the mighty Maranello outfit on an afternoon when at least a podium or two beckoned.
Who was to blame?
A question that has launched a million debates as the civil war between Vettel and Leclerc is fodder for the off-season as it is clear the pair are a liability to the team which now appears to have the firepower to mount a serious title campaign, their drivers are their biggest problem.
After analysing the incident, Villeneuve told Sky Italia: “Vettel and Leclerc are allowed to fight among themselves, but they should not abuse this freedom.
“In my opinion, they are both to blame. Leclerc was too aggressive, and Vettel should not have immediately slammed the door when overtaking his teammate. They both made a mistake.
“It was unnecessary, as they were fighting for third place at most. I think they just wanted to show everyone that they are the better one,” insisted Villeneuve.
In the wake of the incident, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto said of his drivers, “It’s not for me to blame them. I feel, sorry for the team. I think the drivers need to feel sorry for the team because, in the end, they were free to fight.”
“At the end, both of them have got at least a small or small percentage of responsibility,” added Binotto, inadvertently, echoing Villeneuve’s sentiments.
Meanwhile, Corriere della Sera reports that Binotto met with Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri at Maranello on Tuesday where they discussed potential penalties for repeat incidents, including driver fines and other “disciplinary measures.”
Former Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello, who was at Interlagos last Sunday, told Bild newspaper: “It was a misunderstanding between the two drivers and a sad day for Ferrari.”
As for 2020, both Vettel and Leclerc are staying put, but Sky Deutschland commentator Sascha Roos thinks differently, “Ferrari would be well advised to set a deadline. For example, after the first four races of the season, the decision on a number one driver should be made.”
Big Question: Who was to blame?