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

Sebastian Vettel feels he stuck to the Ferrari Formula 1 team's pre-Russian Grand Prix agreement, despite failing to adhere to an order to hand Charles Leclerc the lead

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

Vettel started third, but overtook Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton off the line then drafted past polesitter Leclerc on the approach to the first braking zone at Turn 2.

Conversations between the Ferrari pitwall and Leclerc indicated he had deliberately towed Vettel and allowed him through, which was corroborated by team principal Mattia Binotto after the race.

But while Leclerc expected the positions to be swapped back immediately, Vettel did not yield despite Ferrari's instruction to do so and instead told Ferrari it should ask Leclerc to "close up", before extending a four-second advantage over Leclerc in the first stint.

Vettel, who retired with an engine issue after his pitstop, refused to be drawn into the specifics of the pre-race agreement when speaking to TV crews afterwards, but said: "I think I stuck to the agreement.

"Obviously it was a big shame because I think we had a good chance today to finish first and second."

Asked again on his view of the arrangement after it had been explained by Binotto in Ferrari's media session, Vettel said: "I think on my side it's best if I don't say anything.

"I think Mattia gave an explanation which is valid, so [let's] leave it there."

Binotto subsequently said he felt neither driver had been in breach of the pre-race agreement.

Ferrari pitted Leclerc earlier than Vettel, and Leclerc's laps on fresh mediums allowed him to cycle back ahead of his team-mate once Vettel had been called into the pits.

Asked whether he would have been open to letting Leclerc through had he remained ahead until the end of the race, Vettel said: "I don't know what happened, I wasn't really aware when Charles was going to pit, because obviously you do your own race.

"I was aware of the fact I was quite a bit down the road.

"And obviously the last laps before the pitstop I was struggling more and more with the tyres. So I realised that it would be time to pit.

"When I got out, I found myself behind, then I had a problem and so on - and obviously the bigger downside was the fact that we had to retire.

"It didn't come to that stage [where I'd have to consider a late-race swap], so it's a bit pointless [to discuss now]."

shares
comments
Leclerc still trusts team-mate Vettel after Russian GP controversy
Previous article

Leclerc still trusts team-mate Vettel after Russian GP controversy

Next article

Binotto explains Ferrari's pre-race Russian GP strategy

Binotto explains Ferrari's pre-race Russian GP strategy
Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023
The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected Plus

The potential-laden F1 car that Ferrari neglected

The late Mauro Forghieri played a key role in Ferrari’s mid-1960s turnaround, says STUART CODLING, and his pretty, intricate 1512 was among the most evocative cars of the 1.5-litre era. But a victim of priorities as Formula 1 was deemed less lucrative than success in sportscars, its true potential was never seen in period

Formula 1
Jan 28, 2023