‘Apoplectic’ Vettel scorches teammate
Sebastian Vettel was left seething as Ferrari crashed to its lowest moment of the 2019 season when its two drivers took each other out late in the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Vettel and Charles Leclerc were fighting for the final spot on the podium following the safety car re-start on lap 61.
Five laps later, the safety car was back out on the track after Vettel and Leclerc dramatically collided in a high speed prang down pit straight.
Vettel was heard on team radio scorching Leclerc, despite Vettel's late move to cut off his teammate being the clear cause of the contact.
Leclerc, running on fresher tyres, passed Vettel on lap 60 before the two Ferraris were jostling for position in wheel to wheel racing as they turned onto the long straight.
Vettel got the better exit out of the final turn and was able to sneak past his teammate.
However, Vettel then made a move to cut across his teammate, sending Leclerc into the back of his Ferrari.
In a moment of high drama, Vettel suffered a puncture to his back left tyre and was eventually forced to park his Ferrari on the side of the track. Leclerc had sparks flying from his front right wheel after the contact punctured his tyre and damaged his front wing.
Leclerc's Ferrari didn't even make it to turn one.
Sky Sports commentator Simon Lazenby described Vettel as "apoplectic" after hearing his team radio response to the collision.
"What the hell is he doing," Vettel barked into the radio.
With Hamilton and Verstappen way out in front it appeared at least one of the Ferraris would be stepping onto the podium.
Instead it turned into the team's lowest day of the season in the blink of an eye.
Leclerc said afterwards he and Vettel would be able to pick up the pieces of their friendship.
Ferrari announced a few minutes later neither of its drivers would be attending the post-race press briefing - as they have at every race this year.
"He tried to squeeze me on the inside a little bit," Leclerc said.
"It all happened very quick.
"I haven't seen Seb yet, but I'm pretty sure we are both of us mature enough to put that behind us.
"Both of us feel sorry for the team."
Vettel also refused to point the finger.
"I think it's pretty clear," he said.
"Obviously it's bitter and a shame for the team to lose both cars. I had a better run out of Turn Three and tried to pass and then we touched."
F1 great Damon Hill said Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto had to pull his drivers into line.
"You can't behave like kids in a team like this," he said.
Team principle Binotto admitted his star drivers" damaged" the team.
"I won't judge now who was wrong between Vettel and Leclerc, I need to analyse things first," he said.
"They were free to race today. But they damaged the team. We have cancelled the debriefing"