Ferrari drivers 'clear' after Russia team orders saga

Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc

Ferrari’s drivers have stressed that “everything is clear” in the wake of the team orders saga that developed during Formula 1’s Russian Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel passed Charles Leclerc at the start though it quickly transpired that a pre-race arrangement had been discussed in order for such a tactic to unfold.

Vettel did not relinquish the lead to Leclerc, as the latter had been expected, though their positions swapped during the pit stop phase, shortly prior to Vettel’s retirement.

“Yeah obviously there was some misunderstanding from the car but I think we’ve had a discussion and everything is clear now,” said Leclerc.

“Obviously it felt like it was a huge deal from the outside, which it definitely wasn’t but now everything is fine. 

“I think it’s clear from the beginning of the season that we need to obey team orders, and what is clear is that the situation wasn’t clear for both of the drivers at the start of the race.

“That is the most important thing and we will make sure that this situation doesn’t happen again in the future. “

Vettel concurred with his team-mate’s summary of the situation.

“We spoke about it obviously, more than once,” said Vettel. “We speak with each other. Maybe different to what some people think. But I think it’s pretty clear. Obviously now it’s two weeks ago so we look forward.

“[In Russia at the start] we didn’t write anything in stone. I don’t think it’s necessary. Probably there’s certain things that we could’ve done better looking back. But in the end we look forward and look forward to this race and the next races. So not worried too much.”

Vettel also dismissed suggestions that Leclerc’s recent form – the youngster has been the quicker of the pair for the last nine qualifying sessions – influenced the manner in which the Russian GP unfolded.

“Obviously I’m not happy if I am slower, whether it’s practice, qualifying or race but that has been the same, not just this year but years before as well,” he said.

“There are certain things this year I’ve struggled with here and there with the car which didn’t allow me to extract my best, I don’t think it would have been any different if anyone else was in the car.

“Charles is doing a very good job, but I think it’s largely – and I genuinely believe it’s first a race against yourself and then the others.

“In that regard, I struggled to extract what I know I have in me. On other side, it also very quickly looks different on the outside than it does on the inside. There have been races where things didn’t fall into place and therefore things didn’t look great on the outside. But I think we were tackling the right things on the inside. So I’m not worried.”