Charles Leclerc says Sebastian Vettel knows he was in the wrong for F1 crash

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has made it clear he believed his teammate Sebastian Vettel should not have collided with him at the Brazilian Grand Prix. The incident took them both out and while Leclerc accepted he was also at fault he pointedly noted that Vettel knew he had made the move that led to the crash.

The drivers were vying for position at Interlagos when Vettel went to pass his teammate. Having drawn just ahead he moved to the left, squeezing Leclerc’s line, who did not give ground and they touched, sustaining damage that eliminated both Ferraris.

Mattia Binotto, the team principal, demanded explanations and both drivers were summoned to Ferrari’s headquarters at Marenello. Speaking about that meeting before this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Leclerc suggested Vettel had accepted he had been in the wrong.

“Seb probably shouldn’t have gone to the left and he knows it,” he said. “And I could have done a better job of avoiding him going to the left.”

Following the birth of his third child Vettel was not at the press conference in Abu Dhabi.

The relationship between the two has come under increasing pressure recently with both looking to assert themselves in contradiction of team instructions. After the discussion at Ferrari, Leclerc said they would remain able to race one another but they would have to temper their combative instincts.

“What is important is everything is clear now and we move forward. We will be able to race together. We will try to not let it happen again. Seb and myself are very competitive. We both want to win but we need to find the right compromise because we are racing for the same team. We need to be less aggressive and give each other more space.”

READ  US PGA Championship 2019: final round – live!

The 22-year-old Leclerc is in only his second season in F1 but lies fourth in the championship in front of Vettel. He viewed the incident as part of gaining experience. Whether it will make him more inclined to give way when being squeezed is another matter.

“I particularly looked at it to try to understand how we could have made things better,” he said. “The consequences were huge but the impact was very small, so that was a little bit unlucky. It was unfortunate.”

Ferrari favoured Vettel as their No 1 driver at the start of the season but Leclerc’s strong debut for the team has given them a problem.

He will almost certainly beat his teammate in the final standings and has a 19-point lead over Vettel going into Sunday’s final grand prix of the season. He can reasonably expect Ferrari to give him at least equality next season but managing that balance may prove difficult.

Binotto said his drivers have cleared the air and Ferrari were ready to move on. “We discussed together and I think that they understand what happened was not acceptable,” he said.


Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.