Ex-team boss Flavio Briatore has said he would have fined the Ferrari drivers 5-10% of their salaries for causing the collision at the Styria Grand Prix.
Ferrari are in turmoil at the start of the 2020 season as their uncompetitive SF1000 car has seen them fall to at least third in overall pecking order – and even that position could be debated given the current strength of the likes of McLaren and Racing Point.
Not helping matters in the second race at the Red Bull Ring was Leclerc, who rather foolishly tried a very ambitious move on team-mate Vettel on the first lap at Turn 3.
There was simply no room for him and he slammed into a unsuspecting Vettel. The damage sustained on both cars was enough to see both Ferrari drivers head back to the garage with DNFs next to their names.
While Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has refused to single out Leclerc or Vettel, even though the Monegasque driver himself took full responsibility, Briatore has said he would have had no hesitation in hitting the drivers where it hurts the most: the pockets.
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“The mistake was definitely made by Leclerc, who was trying to get into somewhere with no space,” La Gazzetta dello Sport quotes Briatore having told La Politica nel Pallone.
“Vettel knows he’ll go away [at the end of the season] and won’t help Leclerc, but Seb didn’t think someone would attack him like that there.
“It was a disaster. The engineers and mechanics must be respected as well as the colours of a team like Ferrari.
“In that position there was no point in taking risks, it takes a bit of discipline.
“The car is not the drivers’ but the team’s.
“These guys have to respect the work of the team. I would have given them a 5-10% salary fine, the only way is to touch the drivers is with money.”
Ex-Ferrari driver, Jean Alesi, does feel some sympathy for the drivers, however, as the car they have been given to work with is simply not up to scratch.
“It wasn’t a pretty picture,” Alesi said via Radio Anch’io.
“But when you start so far back on the grid there is always a chance to touch each other.
“More than the pressure on the drivers the fact is that the car was produced badly and the lack of performance carries more weight because the solutions brought by the technicians do not work and the drivers are not guilty.
“This championship will not give many opportunities to a badly-produced car but Ferrari has the opportunity and the resources to recover.”
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