Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Monza, 2019

Vettel unhappy with Leclerc’s qualifying tactics

2019 Italian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel says his team mate didn’t follow Ferrari’s plan correctly during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc took pole position for Sunday’s race in a shambolic session which saw several drivers fail to cross the finishing line early enough to set their final flying laps.

Vettel was among those who was unable to set a time on his last run. He said the situation was complicated by Leclerc following him for part of the lap.

According to Vettel, he had run in front of Leclerc during their first Q3 runs, giving Leclerc the benefit of his slipstream, which meant Leclerc should have led the pair him during the second run.

“I’m not happy with how it went,” said Vettel. “Obviously we didn’t make it to get a second attempt like many others. But I thought internally we had a better way that we communicated this.

“I was the one out front, alone, in the first run. I shouldn’t have been the one in front the second run which, because of the last corner, I wasn’t.

“But at that point I was too close anyway plus the session was over so I couldn’t even make it to start the lap. So I can’t be happy with that. Not what we intended to do.”

Although Leclerc left the pits ahead, Vettel overtook him after the Rettifilio chicane. He then urged Ferrari on the radio to tell Charles to pass him.

Leclerc eventually moved back ahead of him approaching Parabolica. Vettel said he was surprised his team mate did so “that late”.

“He should have been ahead all the way anyway,” Vettel added.

Vettel said other drivers were to blame for holding the queue of cars up. “I was trying to get through,” he said. “But I think there was a McLaren and a Renault blocking the road.

He qualified fourth, a tenth of a second behind Leclerc, and believes he could have been on pole position if he’d been able to set a time with a slipstream.

“I’m happy with the car, the qualifying was good, the car was very good,” said Vettel. “I had a really good lap I just had no tow. That’s the difference between pole and not pole today.”

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Keith Collantine
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49 comments on “Vettel unhappy with Leclerc’s qualifying tactics”

  1. He should be unhappy with his team tactics for not anticipating this predictable mess and going out 15 seconds earlier instead.

  2. Vettel’s lap without tow was only 0.15s slower than Charles’ who had so the potential for pole was there. I don’t think Seb is completely right there. Everyone did mistakes with their outlap including himself.

    Leclerc did pass Seb (as was the plan) at Parabolica though which was already too late. Hopefully he can get a good start tomorrow to cover for Charles or Charles for him.

    1. Seb is wrong completely he didn’t even give Leclerc a tow on the first run of q3, vettel had like 4 other cars between him and Leclerc

      1. @carlosmedrano I don’t see any part where he claims that he gave Leclerc a slipstream in their first runs.

        1. LeClerq has been selfish before. He is no team mate, he is a soloist…a real brat.

  3. I don’t think he’s unhappy with Leclerc. I think he’s unhappy with the circumstances that meant they lost their positions and he ended up ahead. Leclerc overtaking him down towards Parabolica was probably him trying to honour the deal and give Seb the slipstream, but yeah.

    1. @hugh11 Well vettel overtaking Leclerc basically means he caused the situation himself. So I do feel he actually IS upset with Leclerc (he pretty much literally says so), but he really also should blame himself for that,

      1. Well, obviously Lec was not going fast enough to make it in time to the finishline.

        1. Yep, see Charles and Xavi Marcos:

          “We have 10s margin”
          “We need to push 6 seconds, it’s tight, we need to go, push!”
          “We need to push!”
          “We need to push, zero margin, we need to push!”
          “Zero margin!” “Zero margin, zero margin!”
          “Overtake Sebastian, overtake Sebastian”

      2. Nope. Leclerc was too slow and Vettel urged him to go faster. Leclerc simply did not do what they agreed on beforehand.

        1. Did you watch Q3 ? Vettel overtook Leclerc at the very beginning of the lap (after first chicane) while Leclerc was stuck behind 2 car running side to side (the Renault and another car) and blocking the track. He came at the level of Leclerc and was the first to be released. I don’t think Vettel planned anything, it was a very messy situation… But it pretty dense from Vettel to put the responsibility on Leclerc. Someone is under pressure and trying to share it :-)

          1. Yes I did, but did you?

          2. Vettel is not dense and he knew exactly what to do. Leclerc was on pole, knowing that the biggest threat was Seb especially with a tow so he did his best to avoid giving seb a shot at pole . You guys can’t possibly forget that these guys are extremely competitive and have been racing for many many years. Nothing is done haphazardly. . He purposely tried going very slow in attempt to secure his spot on the grid .

      3. Vettel overtake Lec, because Leclerc was too slow. If you have to be in front, you have to be the fastest. Seb was only pushing.

    2. Yes, but “Vettel unhappy with circumstances” isn’t a sensational enough headline for this site anymore.

  4. But Leclerc was in front of him ; he even had to do a big effort to pass Vettel before the Parabolica, not sure why Vettel was defending his position so hard ! Joking of course… ;-)

    This was just a big mess all around, Vettel should indeed look at his strategist in the first place…

  5. Today’s qualifying, or lack thereof, was the equivalent of race day at Monaco aka a suck fest.

    1. Agreed! I was completely annoyed when I saw them all jostling around, positively knowing that they all needed to get going to make it across the line in time.

  6. Ever since Multi21, I have to say I have little sympathy for Seb when a team mate doesn’t follow through with a plan for his own advantage.

    1. @john-h ‘Mark we need to maintain the gap’ — Christian Horner, Silverstone 2011. Fell on deaf ears.

    2. yep @john-h, there was quite some history there before…

  7. Vettel was indeed at the front on that 1st lap but he didn’t gave Leclerc the tow at all so.

    1. Yeah, he didn’t much stick to the actual plan either then, guess Leclerc decided not to follow suit either.

  8. And so it starts…

  9. Just like last year, isnt it?

  10. This is somewhat strange

    “Although Leclerc left the pits ahead, Vettel overtook him after the Rettifilio chicane. He then urged Ferrari on the radio to tell Charles to pass him.”

    So Leclerc went out first, to be the towing guy.
    And then suddenly Vettel overtakehim… why did he have to do that? And then he urged to talk to Charles to pass him…

    I think Vettel messes things up pretty good himself.

    1. Seb was aware of the small window to reach the startling on time.

      1. Yep. Exactly. Vettel urged the team to tell Leclerc to drive faster and do what they had agreed on but he did not or could not comply.

  11. I will refrain from making a watch joke on two different posts.

    But really doesn’t Vettel own a watch?

    1. @eljueta It’s still not a “joke”.

      1. Wow you must be fun at parties

        1. Don frika del prima
          7th September 2019, 18:07

          More fun than you apparently.

        2. @eljueta Oddly enough, I’m indeed quite delightful :)

  12. And the rift begins!

  13. So no “Grazie ragazzi” from Seb, then?

  14. Get used to it Seb. I suspect this young man is going to go his own way sooner rather than later.

    1. @nullapax – agreed. I like how Charles stands up for himself without coming across as antagonistic. That takes skill.

    2. Yep. This is not the first time. Leclerc tries to beat Vettel at any cost. There are no rules or nice team plays. This is F1.

  15. Are they not enforcing track limits in qually? Looked like at least one Ferrari was very marginal.

    1. Marginal is not prohibited. No way to tell for sure, so they are right to not penalise Seb.

  16. Sebastian. Charles is faster than you.

  17. Blaize Falconberger (@)
    7th September 2019, 17:59

    After his tactics over the years, to complain about LeClerc’s tactics is bloomin’ rich. The man is ruthless. LeClerc is just faster these days. That is all.

    1. Seb was 0.15 seconds off with no tow. He was faster today

  18. So, it turns out that Charles may be a little rat that can not be trusted to upfront made agreements…. See how this will turn out in the future…

  19. Multi-21 Seb…Multi-21! *sigh*

    1. If my teammate purposely closed me hard causing me to lose control of the car and rotate 180 degrees in the wrong direction as a result being left last with a damaged car on the last race of a season where I’m in the fight to win the championship, damn right I’d multi-21 him the rest of his career. British media has done it’s job though. One can’t say Vettel fast enough without someone parroting “multi-21 Seb, multi 21”.

  20. That gentlemanly public facade between Leclerc and Vettel is coming to an end as Leclerc continues to be the better driver race after race…he’s beaten vettel in quali in the last what, seven races?
    Will be brilliant to watch.

    1. as true as that is, it looked like a sebastian pole this time around. and in two of the races, there was no actual fight due to car/team problems…

  21. Leclerc is fighting for himself only. He would have killed Vettel if he had a good weapon. Let us wait for the race…

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