Leclerc: Ferrari interests "priority" over Vettel battle

Charles Leclerc says he will not allow the battle between himself and Sebastian Vettel hurt the interests of their Ferrari team.

Leclerc: Ferrari interests "priority" over Vettel battle

With the fight for wins between the pair having caused some tensions over the last three grands prix, there have been concerns that the rivalry risks boiling over into trouble on track.

Last week, F1 managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn reckoned that Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto faced a "potentially explosive" situation between his two drivers.

But in an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com during the Russian Grand Prix weekend, Leclerc has said that while the fight between him and Vettel is intense, they both know that their battle cannot boil over.

"I want to beat Seb and Seb wants to beat me, but the interests of the team as a whole have priority,” Leclerc said before the Russian GP team orders controversy. “It always takes a compromise."

For PRIME users:

Leclerc says he is fully aware when driving that he has a responsibility for every staff member who has helped create his car, so cannot justify doing anything that betrays them.

"When you find yourself battling with your team-mate you think about it, and you know that what you do depends on the result of the work of a thousand people,” he said. 

“If I fight with Seb, it is an aspect that I keep in mind, and you cannot take risks.”

However, he is well aware of the importance that comes from beating your teammate – which is why he is so eager to end the year ahead of Vettel in the standings.

“Your teammate is the only one that has your own car, and always will,” he said. “My goal, and I think it is for every driver, is to stand in front of my partner.”

Leclerc and Vettel have come off the back of some big tests of their relationship, following a clash over their qualifying tactics in Italy, Vettel’s undercut in Singapore and then the controversy in Russia.

Reflecting on the events of Singapore, where Leclerc spoke out over the team radio about the situation being unfair, he said his actions were fuelled not by politics but by his passion for winning.

"I was wrong and I'm not afraid to admit it," he said. "In Singapore we were first and second, but with adrenaline I exaggerated a bit. 

"In the morning when I get up, I think about winning. When I go to bed at night I think to win. And when I am in the car, I can only think about winning. With the adrenaline in Singapore I spoke when it was not necessary to do so. "

Leclerc believes that the major breakthrough that Ferrari made with its car after the summer break owed much to him and Vettel working together and being transparent with the sharing of car data.

"We were all surprised to see the great step forward that we made in recent races,” said Leclerc. “The team at Maranello has done an absolutely amazing job.

“At Monza we had the power unit [Spec 3] which confirmed a great job, and also the aerodynamic package brought to Singapore provided great results, even surpassing expectations.

“It is the result of the work done in the good environment that we have inside the team. With Seb, we share all the information, and this is an important element.”

Read Also:

shares
comments
Haas hits out at rivals' "inconsistent" views on F1 rules

Previous article

Haas hits out at rivals' "inconsistent" views on F1 rules

Next article

F1 hopes to minimise disruption from Typhoon Hagibis

F1 hopes to minimise disruption from Typhoon Hagibis
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Scuderia Ferrari
Author Jonathan Noble
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021