Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto has defended Sebastian Vettel in the aftermath of the spin that potentially cost him a shot at victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Vettel was defending second place from Lewis Hamilton on lap 37 of 57 when the Mercedes driver attempted a move around the outside of Turn 4. In defending his position, Vettel spun his car, badly flat-spotting one of his tyres and then suffered further damage when his front wing succumbed to the vibrations on his lap back to the pits.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the race, Binotto defended his driver when asked if Vettel had been overshadowed by the performance of the team’s rookie driver Charles Leclerc.
“I’m happy for Charles but I think we can count on two drivers,” said Binotto
“Obviously, it has not been a good race for Seb as well but he was second when he did the mistake. He can still deliver very well so we are [happy with] both drivers.”
Asked if Vettel had been guilty of overdriving prior to this spin, Binotto defended his driver and wanted to speak to him before making a judgement on the cause of his error.
“[These are] things that may happen in a race. They are fighting, it’s never easy, so I think it’s understandable, no blame at all,” said Binotto.
“I don’t know, honestly [the reason for his spin]. I will ask the driver and let’s see.”
Binotto also praised Leclerc’s performance and said he was keen to focus on the positives from Ferrari’s weekend, in particular, their improved pace compared to Melbourne.
“We do not have a fully clear indication now [what happened to Leclerc], it’s too early, so we’ll check everything we can later on,” said Binotto,
“It’s good that we finished the race somehow in third place, points that will count, fastest lap of the race was still Charles so thankful to him, he did a great race.
“Obviously, it’s disappointing but I think we need to look at the positives from the weekend and come back to the next race and be stronger.”
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