Leclerc still trusts team-mate Vettel after Russian GP controversy

Charles Leclerc says he retains full faith in his Formula 1 team-mate Sebastian Vettel and stresses they "need to trust each other" following the controversy at Russian Grand Prix

Leclerc still trusts team-mate Vettel after Russian GP controversy

Vettel, who qualified third behind polesitter Leclerc, had the benefit of the tow at the start and got past him with little resistance at Turn 2, taking over in the lead of the race.

Conversations between Leclerc and the team indicated this was part of a pre-race agreement, and Vettel was ordered to hand the lead back to Leclerc, but the German defied the instructions, beginning to build a gap after indicating that Leclerc hadn't been close enough.

Ferrari got Leclerc back into the lead by pitting Vettel, who then suffered a failure that led to a virtual safety car that was instrumental in Leclerc finishing only third behind Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Asked after the race by Autosport whether he still had faith in Vettel to honour pre-race agreements following his apparent team order refusal in the opening stint, Leclerc said: "Yeah, I think the trust doesn't change and I think we need to trust each other, Seb and myself.

"I think it's hugely important for the benefit of the team in some situations, to know that you can count on the other car and vice versa.

"So, yeah, I think it's very important, but yes, the trust is still here. "

Before the swap had happened in the pitstop phrase, Leclerc repeatedly stressed to Ferrari on the radio that he "respected" the agreement, and asked the team to manage the situation.

"I think everything was respected," he explained after the race.

"At the start, I obviously went to the left to give Seb the slipstream, I knew he would overtake, and anyway we knew that, then we just had to do the swap back and we did it at the pit stop later on in the race."

Pressed on whether the agreement was for him to keep to the left side on the run-up to Turn 2 and not fight Vettel into the right-hander, he said: "If there was Lewis and Seb side by side, I obviously had to advantage Seb and not Lewis, which is normal.

"So, that was what was agreed."

Leclerc subsequently offered his explanation for why Vettel may have ignored the orders, describing it as a "quite tricky situation".

"There was a safety car straight away, so then it was quite difficult, I tried to stay as close as I possibly could, for two or three laps, but then it was very difficult to follow - especially first and second sector, the tyres overheated, and then I dropped back a little bit.

"But then, as I said on the radio, I had 100 percent trust in the team to do it themselves as it was agreed before the race, and that's what they did at the pit stop. "

shares
comments
Magnussen slams "unbelievable" F1 Russian GP runoff penalty

Previous article

Magnussen slams "unbelievable" F1 Russian GP runoff penalty

Next article

Vettel feels he stuck to Ferrari F1 team's pre-Russian GP agreement

Vettel feels he stuck to Ferrari F1 team's pre-Russian GP agreement
Load comments
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021