Vettel fumes over Leclerc’s Turn 1 dive

Mark Scott
Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc 2020

Charles Leclerc said he was intimidated by Sebastian Vettel at first when he joined Ferrari.

If the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix wasn’t dramatic enough, there was another incident involving Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc.

The Ferrari duo have had more than their fair share of on-track incidents since the two became team-mates at the start of the 2019 season and the latest episode in their drama series came soon after the race restart following Romain Grosjean’s horrifying crash in Bahrain.

Vettel was P10 as the grid lined up again and had Leclerc directly behind him in P12 when the lights went out. The departing Ferrari driver was pretty tight to the apex of Turn 1 but an aggressive Leclerc squeezed his way past him.

The move left Vettel with little room to manoeuvre and he subsequently fell down to P16 as he was swamped by his other midfield rivals.

“Not again!” Vettel bemoaned on team radio. “You can’t just do that as if I wasn’t there.

“It is the same as Austria, seriously. I should have crashed, maybe it was the better option.”

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Vettel was, of course, referring to the incident between himself and Leclerc at the Styrian Grand Prix where the latter went for another tight gap against his team-mate and it resulted in a disastrous double DNF for Ferrari.

On that occasion, Leclerc apologised for his actions.

“I apologised,” said Leclerc after the Styria clash. “Excuses are not enough in a time like this. I did a very bad job today, I let the team down, I can only be sorry even though I let the team down.

“The team doesn’t need that and I put all the hopes of the team in the bin. I’m very sorry, but it’s not enough, again.

He then issued a further apology on social media: “I am disappointed in myself. I’m sorry but being sorry is not enough.

“Sebastian hasn’t got any faults today. I’ve let the team down after them working a whole week to bring the updates early. Too eager to gain those places in the first lap. I will learn from it.”

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