Sebastian Vettel has firmly denied the idea that tension is growing between himself and Ferrari after a difficult start to the season.
The four-time World Champion never really threatened the top 10 throughout the race weekend, and a first-lap spin in the race did little to help as he came across the line in P12.
But it didn’t exactly help matters when Vettel told Ferrari that they had “messed up” his race strategy over team radio.
Of course Vettel will leave Ferrari at the end of the season and be replaced by Carlos Sainz, but he doesn’t accept the idea that tension is now growing between himself and the Scuderia.
“No, I don’t agree with the statement,” he said in a press conference before the Spanish Grand Prix when the question was put to him.
“I think we are trying to do everything we can, and it is never relaxed if things don’t go your way or they go wrong.
“Naturally, if you judge the emotions right after the race or during the race, I don’t think that is a fair reflection of what is going on, hence why I tend to disagree.
“I didn’t have a great race and we tried to come back up, and could have opted for a different strategy, but we didn’t, so we’ve talked about it, sorted it out and moved on. There is not much different in terms of climate compared to the week before, or the week before that.”
Vettel is languishing all the way down in P13 in the Drivers’ Championship with only 10 points, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if the four-time World Champion didn’t see out the season with Ferrari.
But he hasn’t had that conversation with the team, and said if things “calm down” then he could have a decent final season in Ferrari red.
Asked if Ferrari may release him mid-season, Vettel said: “”I don’t think so…we haven’t even considered or spoken about it.
“I guess it’s not just a question for myself. But I know what I’m capable of, I know the job that I can do.
“At the moment, it’s not been the cleanest run, but yeah, I’m sure [if] things calm down, and I get a decent chance, then I’ll use it.”
Vettel’s team-mate Charles Leclerc sits P4 in the Drivers’ Championship heading into the Spanish Grand Prix, 35 points better off than Vettel after five races.