Ferrari duo put Styrian clash ‘behind us’

Date published: July 17 2020

Sebastian Vettel broken rear wring.jpg

Charles Leclerc is not expecting any backlash from his collision with Sebastian Vettel at the Styrian GP, saying it is “behind” the team-mates.

Fighting for position on the opening lap of the Styrian Grand Prix, Ferrari’s season went from bad to worse as Leclerc mounted the Turn 3 kerb and clattered into Vettel.

The impact took off the German’s rear wing, putting him out of the grand prix, while Leclerc tried to continue only to stop on lap 5 with floor damage.

The Monégasque driver was quick to apologise, taking full responsibility for the double DNF.

But having said as much to Vettel, he doesn’t foresee any lingering hard feelings.

Speaking to the media ahead of the Hungarian GP, Leclerc said the team-mates had cleared the air.

“Yes, I think we’ve put it behind us,” he said.

“I directly went to talk to Seb after the race to excuse myself. I think he accepted that.

“Now it’s behind us, and from my side, I’ll focus on this weekend to try to achieve the best result possible.”

As for Vettel, he concedes that “unfortunately” accidents happen.

“These things are the worst that can happen,” said the German. “Obviously, if two cars of the same colour come together, it’s something obviously we always try to avoid.

“But you’re racing, and unfortunately, this stuff is also part of it.”

The biggest damage from the impact was to Ferrari’s development as the Scuderia was unable to evaluate its aerodynamic updates in race conditions.

However, Vettel, who has been holding “loose talks” with Racing Point about a 2021 drive, doesn’t believe the new wing and floor are a game changer.

“We know that the parts have worked,” he said. “We would have liked them to be obviously a game changer: it doesn’t look at this stage, like that.

“But then again we have to confirm them in real race conditions.

“So I think it will be interesting and we are excited about seeing where the car will be tomorrow and then especially in the race.”

Leclerc agreed.

“Unfortunately due to my mistake on Sunday, we probably didn’t have much data to judge how much of a step it was,” he said.

“For sure it was not a huge step. But I think we gained some performance here and there.

“We will have more data after this weekend to analyse.”

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