Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Sochi Autodrom, 2019

Vettel vs Leclerc round two: Complete Ferrari Russian Grand Prix team radio transcript

2019 Russian Grand Prix

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Ferrari found themselves with a difficult situation to manage on the radio for the second Sunday in a row during the Russian Grand Prix.

After the events of Singapore, where Charles Leclerc asked the team on the radio whether it intended to leave Sebastian Vettel in the lead having jumped him ahead through the pit stops, the team’s younger driver said he accepted he should “shut up” on the radio in future.

For his part, Vettel remarked that a driver would be “very misled if you ever think that you are bigger than this team”.

Yet in Sochi Leclerc again raised questions about the team’s strategy on the radio (as did his team mate), while Vettel repeatedly ignored an instruction from the team, and even stopped replying to their messages entirely at one point.

At the heart of the latest dispute was Ferrari’s plan to manage the start of the race. Vettel took the lead from pole-sitter Leclerc at the start having used his slipstream as he passed Lewis Hamilton.

From their radio messages, reproduced in full below, it’s clear both drivers understand the team would decide which one of them would get to lead the race. Ferrari swiftly informed both drivers that Vettel would have to let Leclerc by.

The full team radio transcript from both cars during the race sheds more light on Ferrari’s tactics for the race and how it went wrong.

2019 Russian Grand Prix Ferrari team radio transcript

Immediately after the start, both Ferrari drivers prompted the team to give their view on how it had gone. Word came back that the team wanted to “swap” their positions, i.e. put Leclerc ahead of Vettel.

Note: Some messages will have been broadcast simultaneously so it is not possible to reflect the exact sequence of communication.

Lap Exchange Message (notes in italics)
1 To Leclerc: K2 off.
1 To Leclerc: Safety Car deployed. Stay positive. Slow button on. And stay out.
1 Leclerc: Just for me to understand the situation was pretty clear, right?
1 To Leclerc: Yes, I will come back to you, but everything’s fine.
1 To Vettel: Safety Car, stay out, stay positive.
1 Vettel: OK copy that. You let me know on the start.
1 To Vettel: OK, understood.
1 To Leclerc: Reminder just to maximise full throttle before the restart. K2 on.
1 Leclerc: Yeah, copy.
1 To Vettel: Save fuel.
2 To Vettel: There was an accident in turn four. Grosjean stopped there. Watch for debris.
2 To Vettel: Ferrari told Vettel first the positions would be swapped, the similarly-worded message to Leclerc came around a minute later.
Start performance was the same so we are looking into swapping.
2 Vettel: Copy. I was ahead in or after turn one so your call.
2 To Vettel: OK, understood. Watch for debris there, keep watching your tyres, save fuel.
2 To Vettel: We will look into the best time later in the race.
2 To Leclerc: So Charles start performance was the same and we are looking to do the swap further into the race.
2 Leclerc: Yes, no problem, at least I understand.
2 To Leclerc: Copy.
2 To Vettel: Work on your brakes as well as tyres.
2 To Leclerc: So tyres and brakes OK, keep doing what you’re doing.
3 To Vettel: Need to work more on your tyres.
3 To Vettel: Safety Car in this lap. (Unclear) for the restart and K2 on for the restart. Warm your brakes.
3 To Leclerc: Safety Car in this lap. Try to maximise full throttle and K2 on.
3 To Vettel: Check your brake balance position for the restart.
4 To Vettel: The race restarts
K2 off.

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When Vettel was given the instruction to let Leclerc by he began disputing the call.

Lap Exchange Message (notes in italics)
5 To Vettel: Lap five: Vettel leads Leclerc by 1.35 seconds and Hamilton by 3.4 seconds
Charles 1.2 behind, nice job there.
5 Leclerc: Gap to behind is fine now.
5 To Leclerc: Copy, understood.
5 To Leclerc: Sebastian will let you by next lap.
5 To Vettel: Hamilton lap time 41.0.
5 To Vettel: Hamilton is 2.4 behind Charles. Let Charles by. Let Charles by.
6 To Leclerc: Lap six: Vettel leads Leclerc by 1.37 seconds and Hamilton by 4.0 seconds. Message to Leclerc on pit straight.
Sebastian will let you by.
6 Vettel: (Unclear) do you know that? But I would have got him anyways. But let’s break away for another two laps, let me know.
6 To Vettel: OK, understood, head down.
6 Leclerc: Where?
6 To Leclerc: We’ll do it next lap.
6 To Leclerc: DRS enabled.

Having initially responded to Ferrari’s order by saying they should pull away further from Hamilton before swapping positions, Vettel then argued Leclerc needed to get closer to him. When Ferrari gave him a third order to pull over, Vettel stopped responding entirely.

Lap Exchange Message (notes in italics)
7 To Vettel: Lap seven: Vettel leads Leclerc by 1.37 seconds and Hamilton by 4.2 seconds
Let Charles by. Hamilton is three seconds behind Charles.
7 Vettel: Tell him to close up.
7 To Vettel: OK, copy.
7 To Leclerc: Turn one.
Sebastian will let you by.
7 Leclerc: When?
7 To Leclerc: Try to close the gap and we’ll do it next lap.
7 Leclerc: (Unclear.)
7 Leclerc: You put me behind. I respected everything. We will speak later. But now it’s difficult to close the gap, obviously.
8 To Vettel: Lap eight: Vettel leads Leclerc by 1.68 seconds and Hamilton by 4.3 seconds. Vettel did not reply to this message.
Starting to close the gap. Let him by. He’s 1.4 behind.
8 To Leclerc: So he should let you by this lap, will let you by.
8 To Vettel: Charles is 1.6 behind.

As it became clear Vettel wasn’t going to obey the instruction, Ferrari’s deputy race director Laurent Mekies came on Leclerc’s radio to confirm a change of plan.

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Lap Exchange Message (notes in italics)
9 To Vettel: Charles is 1.7 behind.
9 To Vettel: You are the fastest car on track. Head down, you are doing well.
9 To Vettel: We are moving to Plan C. Charles 1.5 behind. Update your tyre phase when you can.
9 To Leclerc: You need to try to close the gaps.
9 Leclerc: Yeah guys but I mean…
9 To Leclerc: Laurent Mekies
Charles we will do the swap a bit later on. Lewis is a bit close and we want to push now. We will do it later. Just focus on your race. Thank you.
9 Leclerc: I completely understand. The only thing is that I respected, I gave him the slipstream, no problems. Then I tried to push at the beginning of the race but I overheated the tyre. But anyway, it’s no problems. Manage the situation.

Ferrari brought Leclerc in to the pits before Vettel. Leclerc later said he believed this was done to give him the advantage of new tyres before his team mate in order to get him ahead of Vettel.

However team principal Mattia Binotto subsequently denied the team gave Leclerc the ‘undercut’ to get him ahead of Vettel. Binotto pointed out Leclerc had reported tyre degradation shortly before he pitted.

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Lap Exchange Message (notes in italics)
10 To Vettel: Nice job there. Charles is three-tenths behind, three tenths slower than you. Hamilton 39.1.
10 To Vettel: Charles 2.3 behind. Multi function minus one click.
10 To Leclerc: Hamilton behind at 3.4. Sebastian in front 2.3. Brake balance plus one and diff mid plus one suggestion.
11 To Vettel: Charles is 2.2 behind. Charles lap time 39.2. And Hamilton 40.3, made a mistake.
11 To Leclerc: Hamilton behind at 3.7. Sebastian in front 2.2.
11 To Vettel: Doing a good job on tyres. Try to improve turn four. Charles 2.5 behind.
11 To Leclerc: And we need secondary WG position nine.
12 To Vettel: Multi B3 wastegate position nine. Charles 2.8 behind. Head down.
12 To Leclerc: Hamilton behind at 3.7.
13 To Vettel: Try to improve turn four. You are fastest on track. Charles lap time 9.2. (Unclear) lap 12.
13 To Leclerc: Hamilton behind at 3.7.
13 To Leclerc: And front wing update when you can.
13 Leclerc: Yeah OK like this.
13 To Vettel: Good job in turn four. A lot better. Charles 3.4 behind.
14 To Leclerc: Hamilton behind at 3.4. Tyre phase update when you can.
14 To Vettel: Good lap there. Head down. Nice job.
14 To Vettel: Good job in turn four. Charles 3.7 behind. Hamilton start pushing, 38.6 for Hamilton.
14 To Leclerc: Sebastian in front at 3.7. Hamilton behind 3.3.
15 To Vettel: Charles lap time 8.7. Hamilton lap time 8.5.
15 To Leclerc: Hamilton behind at 3.2.
15 To Vettel: Update on front wing. Charles 3.9 behind.
15 To Vettel: Plus one.
15 Vettel: OK, copy.
15 To Leclerc: Try to improve apex speed turns five and eight. Hamilton behind at 3.1.
16 To Vettel: Charles lap time 8.5. He is the fastest on track. And Hamilton now fastest, 38.3. And he is three seconds behind Charles.
16 To Leclerc: Sebastian ahead 3.7. His lap time: 38.5.
16 To Vettel: Update your tyre phase.
16 To Leclerc: And you can push now. Gap to Hamilton behind 3.1.
17 To Leclerc: Gap to Hamilton behind 3.3.
17 To Vettel: Focus turn 13, 14 to improve.
18 Vettel: Lap times.
18 To Vettel: Charles 3.9 behind he is 38.5, Hamilton 38.9. Copy.
18 To Vettel: Copy Plan C, we are on Plan C.
18 To Leclerc: And we are going to plan C.
18 To Vettel: Charles is four seconds behind. We think also Mercedes might go long on their medium tyres.
19 To Leclerc: And Hamilton behind at 3.3. Sebastian lap time 38.4.
19 Leclerc: Yeah I know, we are doing the same lap times.
19 To Vettel: Charles lap time 8.4, Hamilton 8.3.
19 To Vettel: Verstappen behind is not a threat, he’s a 39.4. So head down, racing Mercs.
19 To Leclerc: Hamilton behind at 3.3.
19 To Vettel: And focus on turn 15, 16. Charles 4.2 behind. Charles lap time 8.7.
21 To Vettel: Charles is 4.4 behind. Update on tyre phase when you can. Charles lap time 8.7. Hamilton 8.5. Bottas is 10 seconds behind Hamilton.
21 To Leclerc: Gap to Hamilton behind 2.9.
21 To Leclerc: And tyre phase update when you can.
21 To Vettel: Blue for Kubica, head down.
22 To Vettel: Charles lap time 8.7, head down.
22 To Leclerc: Hamilton behind 2.7.
22 To Leclerc: Kubica in front should have blue flags.
22 Leclerc: Rear-left.
22 To Leclerc: Copy, understood.
22 To Vettel: And clear in front. Free air. Head down.
22 To Leclerc: Mode position two.
22 To Leclerc: And box now, box.
23 To Vettel: And Charles is coming in this lap. Hamilton is 6.2 behind on medium tyre. Hamilton lap time 8.7.

When Vettel made his pit stop, he came out behind Leclerc.

Lap Exchange Message (notes in italics)
23 To Leclerc: Leclerc pits.
And reset brake balance.
23 To Leclerc: And track is clear, track clear.
23 To Leclerc: K2 off. Bottas in front at 10 seconds.
23 To Vettel: Update on tyre phase. Hamilton 6.6 behind.
23 To Leclerc: Bottas in front at 10 seconds, he did not pit. Behind we have Verstappen at 10-and-a-half seconds, still needs to pit.
24 To Vettel: Hamilton 6.3 behind. Hamilton lap time 38.8.
24 Vettel: My rears are falling off now.
24 To Vettel: Copy.
24 To Leclerc: We need to push.
24 To Vettel: We worry about Hamilton going long. Hamilton lap time 8.8.
24 To Leclerc: Bottas in front at nine-and-a-half, Verstappen behind 12 seconds.
25 To Vettel: Charles lap time 7.7.
26 Vettel: (Unclear)
26 To Vettel: Yes, copy that.
26 To Leclerc: OK you are doing a good job.
26 To Vettel: Vettel pits.
And box, Sebastian, box.
26 To Leclerc: And we need you to push, push this lap, push. Sebastian stopping now.
27 To Vettel: Vettel leaves the pits and comes out behind Leclerc.
Mode four, tight with Charles on exit.
26 To Leclerc: K1 plus available. Will be tight with Sebastian on exit.

However Vettel’s race didn’t last much longer. To his astonishment, a few corners after rejoining the track his MGU-K stopped working. The team identified a failure in his power unit’s insulation, which meant the car was unsafe, and told Vettel to stop immediately and get out.

Lap Exchange Message (notes in italics)
27 To Leclerc: Kubica in front should have blue flags.
27 Vettel: Turn six.
I’ve got no K.
27 To Vettel: I see it.
27 To Leclerc: So multi-function strat position.
27 Vettel: Turn 11.
Tell me something, I’ve got no K.
27 To Vettel: We’re looking into it, we know.
27 To Vettel: OK, copy.
27 To Vettel: Turn 13.
And box. Stop the car now. Stop the car now.
27 Vettel: You serious?
27 To Vettel: Yes.
27 Vettel: OK. Stopping now.
27 Vettel: Turn 15.
I’m stopped. Engine off.
27 To Vettel: And jump out safely, jump out safely.
27 To Vettel: P0 first and jump out safe…
27 Vettel: Yeah. Bring back the fucking V12s.

Vettel’s stoppage triggered a Virtual Safety Car period. Leclerc realised immediately this meant Hamilton, who had not yet pitted, would be able to make his mandatory pit stop and rejoin the track ahead of him.

A Safety Car period followed soon after the VSC interruption ended. Leclerc and Ferrari discussed whether to use this opportunity to pit for another set of soft tyres, which would cost them another position to Valtteri Bottas but potentially give them a better chance of attacking the cars ahead. After initially rejecting the idea, they changed their minds.

Lap Exchange Message (notes in italics)
28 To Leclerc: So Sebastian had an issue and he stopped at turn 17. Turn 15.
28 To Leclerc: Virtual Safety Car deployed. Stay positive.
28 Leclerc: Alright.
28 To Leclerc: Stay positive unto zero.
28 Leclerc: Hamilton is going to be in front, right?
28 To Leclerc: We believe so.
28 To Leclerc: Stay close to zero.
28 To Leclerc: And try to target minus thousand. Fuel numbers minus thousand.
28 To Leclerc: Stay positive, stay positive.
29 To Leclerc: So Hamilton is ahead on soft and Bottas behind on softs.
29 To Leclerc: Virtual Safety Car ending. K2 on.
29 To Leclerc: George Russell crashes.
There’s a yellow at turn nine. Yellow turn nine.
29 To Leclerc: Hamilton in front at 6.2.
29 Leclerc: Leclerc passes the crash scene.
That will be a Safety Car. Prepare maybe for tyres, no?
29 To Leclerc: Copy.
29 To Leclerc: Virtual Safety Car… Safety Car deployed.
29 Leclerc: Should we box?
29 To Leclerc: Slow button on.
29 Leclerc: I’ll let you choose.
29 To Leclerc: If we stop, we go behind Bottas.
29 Leclerc: Yeah but I don’t know do you think to be on new tyres will help more?
29 To Leclerc: Leclerc reaches the pit lane entrance.
Stay out, stay out.
29 Leclerc: Yeah, copy.
30 To Leclerc: Try to work on tyres and brakes.
30 To Leclerc: And target the fuel number.
30 To Leclerc: Hamilton in front at 3.3.
30 To Leclerc: Do you prefer to go behind Bottas with new softs, question?
30 Leclerc: I mean I’m OK with the medium at the moment. But will we drop from one more position if we stop on soft, or not?
30 To Leclerc: We’ll drop one position from Bottas, just Bottas.
30 Leclerc: Yeah maybe we should take the risk.
31 To Leclerc: Leclerc pits.
Slow button on and mode race.
31 To Leclerc: So we have Hamilton and Bottas in front with two lap soft tyres. Verstappen behind with two lap medium tyres.

However Leclerc found he was unable to pass Bottas, and finished the race a disappointed third.

Lap Exchange Message (notes in italics)
31 To Leclerc: And you can pre-select SOC 7.
32 To Leclerc: You are doing a good job on tyres and brakes.
32 To Leclerc: Engine braking minus two. Safety Car in this lap. Try to maximise full throttle and K2 on.
33 To Leclerc: K2 off.
33 To Leclerc: K1 plus available.
33 To Leclerc: K1 plus available.
34 To Leclerc: DRS enabled and K1 plus available. SOC 8 when you can.
35 To Leclerc: K1 plus available.
37 To Leclerc: SOC 6.
38 To Leclerc: Multi-function D O position four when you can.
38 To Leclerc: Diff in plus two, suggestion.
41 To Leclerc: K1 plus available.
42 To Leclerc: And diff mid plus one, suggestion.
44 To Leclerc: Multi-function mix position 10 when you can.
45 To Leclerc: And brake balance plus one, suggestion.
46 To Leclerc: And press oil button when you can. Eight laps to go.
46 Leclerc: Give me everything you have if there is anything more.
46 To Leclerc: Copy.
47 To Leclerc: Multi-function spark three.
47 To Leclerc: K1 plus available.
50 To Leclerc: Four laps to go.
50 To Leclerc: SOC 5.
50 Leclerc: Can we cool down lap? More or less cool down? To push for the fastest lap?
51 To Leclerc: So Verstappen behind is at 6.6.
51 Leclerc: What is the fastest lap?
51 To Leclerc: 36.3.
51 Leclerc: It is maybe do-able so I will try at least.
51 To Leclerc: Verstappen may stop to do it.
51 Leclerc: Yeah but let’s try ourselves to, no?
51 To Leclerc: If he doesn’t come in this lap we will do it.
51 To Leclerc: So Verstappen stayed out. Fastest lap 35.7.
51 Leclerc: Ah, 35.7 is not do-able.
52 To Leclerc: OK, understood.
52 To Leclerc: And SOC 1.
Post-race To Leclerc: Leclerc takes the chequered flag.
OK, P3, well done, good job. Slow button on.
Post-race Leclerc: Yeah copy, thank you.
Post-race To Leclerc: Multi-function mix position two when you can.
Post-race To Leclerc: And you need to go into the pit lane and the podium.
Post-race Leclerc: Yes.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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96 comments on “Vettel vs Leclerc round two: Complete Ferrari Russian Grand Prix team radio transcript”

  1. This is very juicy.

    1. A few things that struck me listening through to all this:

      Leclerc seemed at pains to not say anything controversial – “I’m happy”, “I understand”, “no problem”. No doubt that’s in light of Singapore, where he must’ve got quite a roasting from the team for remarks which were, under the circumstances, nothing like as outrageous as some have portrayed them.

      I find the contrast in how Ferrari deploy Mekies very striking. In Singapore, Leclerc saying he didn’t understand the team’s strategy was sufficient for Mekies to speak to him on the radio several times. Whereas here we had Vettel flagrantly defying an order, yet Mekies never spoke to him once. What does it take for Vettel’s messages to be ‘escalated’?

      It’s revealing also that Leclerc said on the radio he was happy to stay on the medium compound, yet after the race he said getting off the medium was a motivating factor in his second pit stop. Some decisions are easy to ‘Monday morning quarterback’; this one was questionable at the time.

      1. Going through whole transcript, Vettel was very intelligent and tactical on how he handled the situation and might have gotten team behind him.
        1st message: I would have got him anyways.
        2nd message: Tell him to catch up

        And after this going completly silent on radio.

        This is where press(Italian press who would have been really brutal after Monza) and team might get behind Vettel and crucify Leclerc as he was still being quite vocal on radio.
        Binotto has a serious task on hand in keeping his both drivers under control or he is risking situation snowballing worse(dont think either Vettel or Leclerc will trust eachother since Spa this year and now it might be at a new low) than what Toto had in 2016 or Dennis in 2007.

        On a side note- There was a photo that motorsport had used after singapore gp and it was quite telling about relation of two Ferrari teammates.

      2. The article was titled: Leclerc/Vettel rivalry can “escalate” – Wolff

    2. Binotto effectively back Leclerc’s account of the start:
      “How can you be first and second, protecting first but also gain a position? We agreed that the best way was not to give a slipstream to Hamilton, first, and therefore Charles would give the slipstream to Seb.

      “But giving the slipstream and not defending would give the advantage to Seb, which later on [we] would give back by swapping the cars. So that was the deal.”

      1. Given how bad start was for Hamilton and Vettel had passed Hamilton before kink of 1st corner even without that agreement in place Vettel would have passed Lecler before turn 2. Vettel genuinely had faster car for the race of two and pace to take win.

  2. 31 To Leclerc: So we have Hamilton and Bottas in front with two lap soft tyres. Verstappen behind with two lap medium tyres.

    51 To Leclerc: Verstappen may stop to do it.
    51 To Leclerc: So Verstappen stayed out. Fastest lap 35.7.
    51 Leclerc: Ah, 35.7 is not do-able.

    Wait, so Max had two lap older tyres of the medium compound and he set a FLAP that Leclerc couldn’t match on the softs? Were his tyres that shot? Because just 5 laps prior to this conversation they were still talking about attacking Bottas, and Sochi is a low-deg track, isn’t it?

    Personally, I think with Vettel getting such a good restart, and Leclerc not being able to close to under 1.3s, it was not smart to attempt a swap.

    1. At that point, the fastest lap was with Hamilton I believe.

      Telling that on race pace the Ferrari cannot match the Merc, even after a charge lap.

      1. At that point, the fastest lap was with Hamilton I believe.

        @sham – I misinterpreted that line about Max staying out as saying that Max stayed out and set that time. Thank you for pointing out that it was Lewis who set that time.

        1. They were worried that Max was going to pit and go for fastest lap which is why they were talking about Max. It seems that Red Bull and Ferrari knew they couldn’t match those fastest laps. Seb had a bunch of fastest laps at the beginning but not sure how fast they really were.

          1. @jimfromus – thanks for that context. Although I saw the race, I had mentally checked out once I saw Leclerc couldn’t overtake Bottas, as I knew the podium was decided :)

      2. That’s right. When he got the message about the Fastest Lap being 36.3, Hamilton held the fastest lap and Ferrari were waiting to see if Versatppen would pit to try get it.

        Verstappen didn’t pit, Leclerc went for fastest lap and put in a 36.1 but Hamilton put in a 35.7 put keep fastest lap.

  3. @keithcollantine You need to change “2019 Singapore Grand Prix Ferrari team radio transcript”.

  4. It is astounding how the ferrari pitwall actually believed it when vettel told them that leclerc needs to catch up to make the switch. All the while vettel was going as fast as possible. It is clear without any doubt that vettel wanted leclerc to ruin his tires in dirty air trying to catch vettel. And ferrari fell for it! They literally did exactly what vettel wanted which destroyed leclerc’s race and eventually cost them the win. Leclerc had the smarts to not try to catch up to vettel but that meant he had to driver slower which hurt his race pace. Had they switched early on leclerc would have simply vanished to the distance like he has done many times already.

    To me this tells that ferrari has some serious leadership issues. Decisions take long time to make, obvious mistruths go through without questioning and after all has happened they do their best to deny everything and pretend it was all according to plan.

    Ferrari really needs someone like Alan Permane who is not going to mince words when his primadonnas start acting up. They really should have someone there to tell leclerc to shut the * up when he goes on his tirades and then at the same time tell vettel to do as told when he starts playing dumb and doesn’t do as told. This pampering is costing them wins and they seem totally oblivious to it. Vettel is free to play his games and leclerc is constantly boiling over in team radio.

    1. That’s an interesting interpretation. More realistically, if Vettel had dropped his pace enough to let Leclerc by, when Leclerc was so far behind, he’d have let Hamilton through too. If Vettel hadn’t been driving as fast as possible, Hamilton would have been all over Leclerc. So it was simply about Leclerc lacking the pace to make the swap possible.

      Ferrari were completely mad if they told Leclerc they’d swap the drivers over. Unless a team is cruising to a 1-2 finish, they can’t afford to mess around like that.

      1. The swap was supposed to be done when Leclerc was less than 2 secs behind and Lewis around 3 secs further back. About lap 5. Why are folks talking about that 4 sec gap? By then, it was pointless to swap.

    2. No, I don’t but that argument.
      For any driver it made makes sense to swap cars much later in the race after pit stops than before. Vettel didn’t want to lose any margin he had built up as it would leave him exposed to the Mercedes cars. A swap would cost Vettel close to 5 seconds, the margin he had over Leclerc plus the time lost effecting the swap.

      1. I agree with @socksolid. It was clear that Vettel deliberately opened that gap to create the argument that he was the faster car and simply deserved the place. In order to make the swap Leclerc would have had to ruin his race.

        I don’t agree about the team needing to be tough on Charles for boiling over on the radio though. A tough situation (possibly deserved after his own behaviour, but regardless) and this weekend he was incredibly professional under pressure.

        This is great stuff. I can’t see Seb at Ferrari after this year though. As he said himself, nobody is bigger than the team.

        1. One driver can’t open a gap alone, deliberately or otherwise. It requires another driver (obviously) who fails to keep up.

          It does seem rather bizarre to be criticising Vettel for trying to extend a ~5s gap over third. If there’s criticism of anyone, it should be of Ferrari, for even starting to consider the plan they apparently had.

          It’s pretty obvious that Hamilton would have passed one (or even both) Ferraris while they were messing around, and then been in a great position to get the other in the pitstops. It was obvious within a handful of laps of the start that the Ferraris weren’t pulling away from the Mercedes fast enough to make the plan work. At that point, at the latest, Ferrari should have abandoned the idea completely, without a second thought.

          More fool Leclerc for signing up to a plan that obviously wasn’t going to work. If we want to get conspiratorial, Ferrari ‘must’ have known there was little chance of the plan working, and their real plan was to fool Leclerc into doing what was best for the team at the start.

    3. @socksolid i agree that ferrari have poor operations management and their strategists are often outfoxed, but in this instance they did everything right. the MGU-K failure cost them a 1-2. without that it would have surely finished leclerc first, vettel second. how would vettel letting leclerc by have secured the win? i don’t think he had that much more race pace, if any, than vettel (though we won’t know for sure).

  5. It appears to me from both drivers’ comments at the start that the agreement was a bit more complicated. It wasn’t just LEC will give VET the tow because both drivers ask the team how the start was. I am going to assume there was something in the agreement if HAM did something unexpected or since HAM was on harder tires if he didn’t get a good start then the agreement was off.
    I am basing this on LEC saying “Just for me to understand the situation was pretty clear, right?” and VET saying “OK copy that. You let me know on the start.” I don’t think the safety car on the first lap helped Ferrari with determining how the start went. That being said, when they did let VET know how they thought the start went, he should have followed team orders on Plan A or B and not have had Plan C sprung on him.

    1. @jimfromus

      If your boss/client asks you to do something really daft, do you just do it? Or do you do the right thing in the moment and discuss it later?

      Ferrari should have told Leclerc ‘sorry, we can’t even start to think about a swap until you are at least 10s ahead of Hamilton’. Vettel was completely right to ignore such abysmally stupid team orders. Ferrari were completely wrong to give them.

      1. If you tell your employee to do something (that was discussed and agreed earlier) and they still do something different do you just let them and discuss it later?

        Vettel knew the switch needed to happen as early as possible in the race because every lap leclerc has to drive behind vettel takes a lot out of leclerc’s tires. And gives leclerc less time ahead to pull a gap to vettel and hamilton before he needs to pit. Vettel knew that every second counts so the longer he can delay the switch the less valuable the switch becomes. And because of ferrari’s indecision and vettel’s games it worked out exactly like vettel had dreamed of. It was on the early laps or not at all. Vettel knew what he was doing and it was just astounding that ferrari fell for it. Is it vettel’s team or is it ferrari?

        What was leclerc supposed to do? Drive flatout to catch and pass vettel and then be slow because his tires are shot? Ferrari should have just told vettel to stop playing your games and let leclerc go. And leclerc would have outdriven vettel like he has done in 95% of all races this season.

        1. Why should Vettel have let Leclerc pass? Because you hate Vettel? That’s the only reason i see in this debate. Do you even like watching ‘racing’???

          1. vettel gained the position through team orders and he should have given it back. he didn’t earn first on merit.

        2. So by your own logic why wasnt Petulant Leclerc scolded for his actions in Monza or Spa? Leclerc has shown his true character in 2nd half of season one who cannot obey team orders himself and isnt a man to accept blame

        3. “If you tell your employee to do something (that was discussed and agreed earlier) and they still do something different do you just let them and discuss it later?”

          In a situation like this, there’s no choice about it. You can’t force them.

          Whether they get fired or praised depends on whether they were right or wrong to overrule me.

          But the situation doesn’t arise often, because I will listen when someone tells me something is a stupid plan, think about what they said, and change my plan if they’re right. Ferrari didn’t do that.

          1. petebaldwin (@)
            1st October 2019, 19:46

            Slippery slope though isn’t it? What do you think Leclerc will do next time he’s asked to make way for Vettel? Do you think he might say “that’s a stupid plan?”

            What are they going to do? Can they legally sack him for something they didn’t even punish their other driver for doing? Even if they did, he’d probably replace Bottas and cause Ferrari even more of a problem!

      2. I live in the US so the short answer is Yes, I would follow instructions.
        Actually, I would push back once, get it in writing, and then if instructed to do the daft thing, I would do it. Ferrari asked Vettel 5 times. He should have done the daft thing.

        1. To take this discussion immediately to a ludicrous extreme, where do you draw the line between that and ‘just following orders’?

          For me, if something’s a matter of taste, it’s up to the client/boss; if it’s a matter of money it’s up to them to choose to spend more than necessary, but I’ll make sure it’s an informed decision; if it’s a matter of safety, it’s not their choice.

          I don’t think it’s quite fair to say Vettel refused the order even once. The first time he was asked, he said to leave it another couple of laps and they said ok, then they asked him again two or three times, and each time he replied that Leclerc wasn’t close enough, and again they said ok. Ferrari have misleading information to Leclerc, repeatedly saying they’d told Vettel things they hadn’t actually told him.

        2. I live in the US

          electing Trump was

          the daft thing

          But when you are something serious like racing it is important to close the gap if you really want someone to pass.
          LEC “overheated his tires” in the early stages and lost contact with VET.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      1st October 2019, 20:08

      @jimfromus “Well clearly, if Vettel had a better start then he would have taken the lead on his own. Then there would be no swapping back.

      In this case they had the same start. Leclerc and Vettel were equally spaced for a long time. Until the slip stream started kicking in and then Vettel suddenly closed up very fast and blitzed past. Vettel even towed Sainz along past Hamilton.

      So in this case, Vettel only got ahead of Leclerc because he got the tow. Not because he had a better start. Therefore the team rightly decided to swap the drivers back.

  6. Enough already. Ferrari did not find itself in a difficult situation to manage…they created it. We will never know exactly, but by all accounts a number of different scenarios were discussed by the team before the race, except one…let them race!

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      1st October 2019, 20:09

      @gpfacts Then Hamilton would have got the tow from Leclerc and Hamilton would have ended up in front of Vettel at turn 1.

      This Ferrari strategy actually worked. It got Vettel past Hamilton because the tow was so powerful. Look at how Sainz almost makes it past Hamilton even. Simply because he gets the tow from Vettel and Hamilton had no tow.

      1. That is all true, but once Vettel proved to be faster, the team insisted on swapping the places nonetheless…and that was crazy. Leclerc had tyre problems and was four seconds behind, yet the message was that the swap is coming. Why?

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          3rd October 2019, 18:08

          @gpfacts How did Vettel prove himself faster? Vettel was ahead and it was clearly very hard to follow closely on this track. So all Leclerc could do was hold station a few seconds back waiting for the swap to happen at some point. Which is what Leclerc did

          1. @f1osaurus At the end of lap 1 Leclerc was 1.6 seconds behind Vettel, with Hamilton another 2.4 seconds back.
            Lap 10 Leclerc 2.2 sec Hamilton +3.6
            Lap 15 Leclerc 3.7 sec Hamilton +2.9
            Lap 20 Leclerc 4.4 sec Hamilton +2.8

          2. F1oSaurus (@)
            4th October 2019, 19:50

            @gpfacts Yes so? From lap 15 onwards iot fluctuated around 4 seconds. That’s holding station.

            Besides it’s Vettel desparately trying to prove that he is faster. Leclerc having nothing to prove simply waiting for the swap. And even then he doesn’t get away and Leclerc simply follow at 4 seconds behind.

  7. No one to blame, the typical Ferrari confusion in a none stressful situation.
    I will be the first to admit that I do admire Leclerc a lot but I don’t understand how he became so powerful in that team in only his first few races. Then again, is this still part of the Ferrari blame culture with Vettel the new victim.

  8. I don’t think Vettel would have ever given the position back had the race continued without the MGU-K failure. Before he went silent on the radio, he tried to convince the team that he would have got him (Leclerc) anyways.

    This is so much like Hungary 2007 qualifying. I am sure McLaren were urging Alonso to leave the pit box but he just chose to not speak a word, wait for the required number of seconds and then leave the box. Seb seems to have done the same, just stop speaking on the radio.

    I don’t see the parallels with Malaysia 2013 though. That was Seb giving back to Mark for 2011 Britain. Plus he was genuinely faster than Mark then.

    This is more like Hungary 2007. One driver doing something naughty against the other. Ironically, in both the cases, it was the younger driver who had done something mischievous previously (Hamilton by overtaking Alonso early in qualifying trying to sneak an additional lap, Leclerc by not overtaking Vettel soon enough during Monza qualifying and not giving him the tow).

    Now what is the parallel for spygate in this case. Some oil mist going through the intercooler into the engine, you say ;)

  9. Lap 2 – Vettel: Copy. I was ahead in or after turn one so your call.
    Lap 6 – Vettel: (Unclear) do you know that? But I would have got him anyways. But let’s break away for another two laps, let me know.
    Lap 7 – Vettel: Tell him to close up.

    I thought it was fairly obvious from Lap 2 that Vettel wasn’t going to give that position back. I’m surprised that Ferrari told Leclerc to stay within 1.5 seconds of Vettel for 7 laps in a row… it was just overheating Leclerc’s tyres lap after lap.

    Quite a shady move from Vettel. After his words of wisdom on how no driver is greater than Ferrari, he goes ahead and works against the team’s interests. Can’t see Seb with a future in this sport anymore… he doesn’t have the talent to be a #1 driver at a top team, nor does he have the humility to play the team role of a #2 driver.

    1. Indeed. Ferrari deserves a better driver than this.

      But how will the contract situation play out?Alonso canceled his contracts and forfeited his fees twice, 2008-09 and 2014-2015. I doubt Vettel would do that.

      1. “Alonso canceled his contracts and forfeited his fees twice”

        No, Alonso was fired in both cases for gross misconduct. The teams cancelled his contracts because of things he did to his teammates.

        1. What was he guilty of at Ferrari? Thrashing kimi worse than expected?

    2. So if SV was going against the team’s interests, that means their interests were that they only wanted CL ahead of SV? How is that about no driver being greater than Ferrari? Trying to keep LH behind, which they succeeded in doing, was in Ferrari’s best interest. Why must Seb be either a #1 or a #2? Why can’t he just be a racer?

      1. @robbie – I think you’re setting up an either/or situation when it is not that simple. Perhaps Ferrari’s interest is in their drivers obeying orders. Perhaps Ferrari’s interest is in having the drivers trust the team (even if not each other) so that as a team they can fend off other teams. Perhaps Ferrari’s interest is in not having drivers fighting each other more than the other teams.

        So, if all you want is for Vettel to “just be a racer,” then that means Leclerc can be one as well. So Vettel won’t get the swap anymore. He won’t get the tow to the first corner. He won’t get any favors or preferred pit strategies. If I were Leclerc, I would be talking to other teams about 2021 just in case and I would do what I wanted in 2020, Vettel can kick rocks.

        The problem is that Leclerc has been a team player, Vettel hasn’t.

        1. The problem is that Leclerc has been a team player

          Not really, remember the quali tow at Monza.

          1. Sainz and Stroll were blocking everyone from passing through in Monza. Not Leclerc’s fault.

          2. F1oSaurus (@)
            1st October 2019, 20:12

            Leclerc was ahead of Vettel, ready for the tow, but then Vettel overtook him.

            In fact, Vettel did NOT give a tow to Leclerc in their first run. Leclerc complained about that, but not as much as Vettel did about Leclerc (who could have done nothing different) in that last run.

          3. @kevin and saurus
            Not true.. LEC could easily pass both drivers. He did not and just made it to the line very slow.
            Effectively ruining VETs chances.
            In the first part VET started in front of LEC but LEC lost somewhere the connection and thus the possible Tow.

            Besides.. the constant whining is getting annoying and contradicts his promise the last time.
            No team player there.. but i guess no potential champion is a team player when it really counts.

        2. @hobo My comment was in reaction to @todfod saying SV doesn’t belong in F1 as he is neither a good #1 nor a good #2. Generally I don’t see a need for either status at Ferrari while they are not fighting for the Championships. Neither driver is going to be WDC this year, and the team is not going to budge from 2nd in the WCC.

          So I’d just let them race. I’ve always preferred that. To me, team orders should come in when the math dictates it in the last third of a season. And that is often at a time when an order should not even be needed. Once a driver sees that he has very low odds of winning the WDC, and if his teammate does have a shot, it becomes a no brainer for the one without the shot to not rob points from the one with the shot. Of course what complicates things is when you have one driver in a dominant car take all the top points from the getgo leaving everyone else to scramble. That’s just how it works out sometimes. Next year all the drivers will start out the season without a status on the team. This year Ferrari gave the nod to SV as the proven WDC’er against the rookie to the team, but next year I believe they will start on equal footing. For the remaining races this season I would just let them figure it out on track, as there is no guarantee that either driver will obey orders anyway.

          Further, I think 2021 is going to totally change the dynamic and there won’t be the same concerns over track position and towing etc, (depending on the track) because cars will be following closer and not ruining front tires in doing so. Is Sochi the leader controlled the pace and couldn’t be passed. In Singapore they drove at F2 speeds, again the leader controlling the pace due to the difficulty/danger (to tires) of following too closely. Can’t wait for 2021.

          1. @robbie

            Just as @hobo mentioned, If Vettel doesn’t have a problem with just being a “racer” then he shouldn’t have needed team orders in the first 4 out of 5 races to keep Leclerc behind.. He shouldn’t have a problem when once in a while he doesn’t get Ferraris preferred strategy. As you said let them race until it’s not mathematically possible for one of the drivers to contend for the title.

            I’m all with you on that approach.. But Vettel won’t like that one bit… And let’s face it.. He’d be significantly more points behind Charles if Ferrari would have adopted that approach from race 1 onwards. Heck, he would have probably been behind Kimi in 2016 and 2018 if that had been Ferrari’s approach.

            Which is why I don’t consider him good enough for #1 or humble enough for #2.

            If he makes it past 2020 in F1, I would be shocked.

          2. petebaldwin (@)
            1st October 2019, 19:57

            @todfod – I like Vettel but sadly, I agree with you. He’s not good enough to match someone like Hamilton or Verstappen in equal machinery and he’s never going to follow orders and support his team mate as a number 2.

        3. At Monza LEC clearly didn’t follow team orders during Q. We know this because of the comment at the end of the race when ALL was forgiven. Then VET gets a win because Ferrari gave him the undercut. (payback for Monza?) Ferrari shows up in Russia thinking that each driver is in a good place as they each have recent wins. In order to keep the harmony Ferrari comes up with an agreement for the start in order to hold off Mercedes. Unfortunately the agreement went right into the bin by the end of lap 1. They started 1-3, hoping for a 1-2 finish and end up with a 3-DNF. Very ugly and I don’t know how they are going to convince LEC to trust VET on the track.

          1. Then VET gets a win because Ferrari gave him the undercut

            nonsense, nobody anticipated the big difference as a result of this undercut. If so BOT never would have got the undercut and even he passed Lewis as a result.

          2. @jimfromus – Just one point. Leclerc didn’t get a tow from Vettel in Q3 (was a Renault) and was then in the scrum of slowpokes in the second run. He couldn’t have pushed his way through early in the outlap, he was blocked. Possibly later. But people are describing it as if it was a normal session with a clear track and he simply refused.

            That’s not the case. LEC has been a team player.

  10. Early on Vettel said “it’s your call”.
    And then he is told to let Leclerc by, but it wasn’t their call anymore, “tell him to close the gap!”

    Ferrari should not use these kind of agreements anymore if one part is only abiding to it when it’s convenient.

    1. tell him to close the gap!

      That only proves his intent to let LEC pass!
      But to pass without loosing your position, LEC should close the gap.
      Dropping his speed to give the position to LEC would have lost VETs place to HAM.
      No driver in his right mind would do that.
      LEC had to speed up but was unable to.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        1st October 2019, 20:04

        …. unable to because Ferrari asked him to closely follow Vettel for 7 laps whilst consistently telling him “Vettel will let you past this lap.”

        Of course, if they had said “drop back a couple of seconds to protect your tyres and we’ll sort this out later”, Leclerc wouldn’t have destroyed his tyres. He could have gone against his team and said “no, I won’t try and close the gap” but when you are told “your teammate will let you past this lap”, dropping back a few seconds isn’t exactly going to help your race….

        1. Probably.. the team made some stupid mistakes in managing the swap that is for sure.
          But you can not expect VET to give up his advantage so soon with Lewis only seconds behind.

  11. Sometimes, it’s just better to simplify things or let events run their course. Ferrari may have the quickest car atm but they are not dominant like the previous Mercs in the W05 and W06. Hamilton could have made all these scenarios irrelevant by passing both while trying to manipulate results. Just let them race for Christ’s sake.

    Which former Ferrari driver once said something along the lines of “from the outside you wonder how Ferrari never win anything but from the inside you wonder how Ferrari actually win races”? My memory is failing me and Google was of no assistance.

    1. F1oSaurus (@)
      1st October 2019, 20:15

      @blazzz Why would they just “let them race” when one driver is cheating? Ferrari had an agreement that Leclerc give Vettel the tow to help him get ahead of Hamilton. That worked and in fact the tow was so strong that he got past Leclerc even.

      The team (or Leclerc) had foreseen this and agreed that if that was the case Vettel would hand the place back.

      So Leclerc helps Vettel with the tow to take the lead. What else can Ferrai do but uphold the agreement?

      How is this even a discussion?

      1. @f1osaurus

        Disagree with your analysis. I actually agree with Vettel- he would have got Leclerc anyway as he had a better start; even if he didn’t had Leclerc defended aggressively, Seb had better race pace and he probably would have overtaken him anyway.

        Why would they just “let them race” when one driver is cheating?

        Also, this is so OTT. I can give you many examples that fit this description, but Vettel didn’t “cheat” he simply did what F1 drivers do- which is actually race.

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          3rd October 2019, 17:44

          @blazzz Vettel DID NOT have a better start. They had a 100% identical start. Why do people like you argue from nonsense? What’s the point?

          Just look at the on board replay and it’s 100% perfectly crystal clear that Vettel only started to gain on Leclerc when the slip stream kicked in!

      2. Jonathan Edwards
        2nd October 2019, 0:48

        When has a team been so idiotic to try to orchestrate the start of a race, and if their drivers can pass each other or not? The whole issue is the result of the leadership at Ferrari being, in this case at least, grossly incompetent.

        There are so many variables coming into play at the start that they should have never broached the subject. Clever people can often times try to be too clever, and end up looking like fools.

          1. F1oSaurus (@)
            3rd October 2019, 18:06

            @blazzz -1000

            Well it’s not needed that often, but it does happen. Mercedes did it in France 2018. Mercedes starting on Medium and Ferrari on soft. So the drivers agreed to box Vettel in.

            On this track it’s necessary because the run to turn 1 is so long. In 2018 it was already apparent what an immense effect the tow has here. So Ferrari wanted to make sure that only Vettel got the tow and that Leclerc would not decide to cover the inside line and hence give the tow to Hamilton.

            The latter would help Hamilton get ahead of Vettel. So Ferrari did not want that. Leclerc staying on the outside made it that he was then vulnerable for the pass from Vettel. Which meant an agreement was needed that Lelcerc help Vettel get ahead of Hamilton, but Vettel would not unduly benefit from Leclerc’s aide.

            The agreement was perfectly clear:
            – Leclerc stays on the outside giving Vettel the tow and not cover the inside and give Hamilton the tow
            – If there was an equal start from both drivers, Leclerc would keep his position even if the tow provided would be enough to slingshot Vettel past.

            If Vettel had had a better start they would have left Vettel ahead. They had a 100% identical start and therefore Ferrai made them swap back as per the agreement.

    2. In 1990, Gerhard Berger, a Ferrari employee, quipped, “Stand outside the Ferrari factory and you wonder why they don’t win every race. Stand inside the factory and you wonder how they manage to win any races”.

      source: Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership: Practicing the Wisdom of Leading by Serving
      Door James W. Sipe, Don M. Frick

      1. @blazz see above.

        1. @erikje Cheers!

  12. This is just getting old and redundant now. Time to put this matter to bed already, LOL.

  13. I do not know how anybody can rationally look at the start and claim Vettel is wrong when saying he would’ve gotten by him anyway. Then they played the strategy well enough to have Leclerc ahead after the stop in a position where the two can fight it out for P1-P2 had Vettel’s engine not given up the ghost. The idea of an early swap was asinine and Vettel showed his intelligence by ignoring it. Once more showing that unless you pull a Schumacher and bring in good staff along with you, you win despite, not because of Ferrari

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      1st October 2019, 20:06

      One thing is for certain – Leclerc showed his lack of experience by agreeing to this deal and not covering the inside of turn 1. I’m pretty sure it’s a mistake he’ll never make again.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      1st October 2019, 20:17

      @klon Because if you actually look at the start you see that Ferrari is 100% right. Leclerc and Vettel had an identical start. Vettel only got close (and past) when the slip stream kicked in.

      See this on board:

  14. A bit whiny from Leclerc at lap 9, he said he had complete trust in the team. Really didn’t show it at that moment.

    Also this makes it all the more embarrassing for Vettel. As others have mentioned above

    But tbh the Ferrari pit wall weren’t that bad with managing the situation given that it’s at the heat of the moment at a grandprix. Very nice idea of simply holding vettel in the pits. But prevention is key and i hope no arbitrary start tactics are used often.

  15. Why are Ferrari doing team orders at all at this point if the season? Vettel passed him fair and square and Leclerc has no chance of winning the championship. What are they doing? I’m glad Vettel made the lead bigger, that is racing, Leclerc didn’t deserve to get waved passed, that is wrong for motorsport.

    1. I can only come up with one scenario that explains everything, and doesn’t require assuming Ferrari are complete idiots or would deliberately screw one of their drivers for a tiny gain. It goes something like this:

      – After qualifying, Ferrari start to plan their race strategies. They realise that as long as they don’t fight each other, the red cars will be first and second at the first corner, but probably with positions reversed, while if they do, Hamilton will have a good chance of picking up one or even two places.

      – Ferrari explain this to the drivers, and tell them not to fight each other. Leclerc, still annoyed at his bad luck in the last race understandably objects. Ferrari agree to swap the drivers back, if possible, and don’t stress strongly enough that it’s only if they’re far enough ahead.

      – Come raceday, Ferrari are a bit slow realising, or at least admitting to Leclerc, that it isn’t going to work.

    2. Agreed.

      1. F1oSaurus (@)
        1st October 2019, 20:19

        @robbie Utterly wrong though.

    3. F1oSaurus (@)
      1st October 2019, 20:18

      The thing is, Vettel did NOT pas Lecler fair and square. Vettel only got past because Leclerc gave Vettel the tow (as per the agreement). If Leclerc had moved in front of Hamilton (as he normally would have), Hamilton would have gotten the tow and Vettel would have dropped back.

      1. @f1osaurus Lol like Leclerc was ever going to give LH the tow and therefore the pass. Vettel took them both via the best start. It was always going to be a reality that the pole sitter was a bit of a sitting duck at this particular venue. You don’t know exactly what agreement they had for the scenario as it played out, and I don’t think SV did anything to harm the team. Just CL’s ego. Without his own demise and the safety car lottery, nor even the swap that happened through pitting, he had the whole race to give CL back the spot once it was safe to do so. Not his fault the plan was scuppered. Perhaps they can just drop the silly orders now and race it out for the rest of the season, now that silly orders are likely just going to be ignored anyway, by either driver. Or the team will just engineer an undercut. Whatever. It’s all for naught other than bragging rights between two drivers who won’t win the WDC anyway, but should be able to at least fight for wins unencumbered and place as high as they can in the standings.

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          3rd October 2019, 17:41


          Lol like Leclerc was ever going to give LH the tow and therefore the pass

          LOL, ROFLCOPTER to the extreme! Yes of course that’s exactly what he would have done! Why on earth do you think they needed that agreement?

          Comer on man, at least think for more than 5 seconds.

          Hamilton might not have gotten that pass on Leclerc, but he surely would have been in front of Vettel. The tow was really incredibly strong. You could see Vettel and Sainz suddenly pull back from Hamilton.

  16. For me is clear Vettel was fully aware of what he was doing (and that he was doing it against the pre-plan). The idea was to string along Leclerc (in a circuit where is very difficult to follow/pass), to show that he (VET) “clearly” was faster.

    The radio silence is very telling. Basically not a peep except “ok copy” and “lap times” for 15 laps, and the instant LEC pits “My rears are falling off now.”, trying to get the pit ASAP to keep the lead.

    1. Did you miss the bit where Ferrari were actually in a race? Hamilton was never as much as 5 seconds behind Vettel. Of course Vettel wasn’t going to slow down.

      Either Leclerc wasn’t fast enough to catch Vettel, or he was just unlucky that they weren’t able to pull away from Hamilton enough to allow the swap. But it’s insanity to suggest Ferrari were right to issue the order.

      At best, if everything went perfectly, they’d have swapped first and second with a 3s gap to Hamilton, for first and second with a 1.5s gap. They didn’t seem able to pull away further.

      If anything went even slightly wrong they’d have lost at least one position.

  17. Thinking about it again.
    Leclerc has claimed sole ownership of his own slipstream. This is unprecedented.
    I shall anoint thee with my slipstream, but thou shall not overtake he who bestows such privileges, for as I giveth, so can I taketh away the power I make available to thee.

    1. Lol I like your comment.

    2. F1oSaurus (@)
      1st October 2019, 20:20

      No Ferrari asked Leclerc to stay on the outside so he would give Vettel a tow.

      1. The problem is LEC gifted his tow to block Hamilton. But he did not expect VET to pass him in the second corner.
        The “deal” was not as expected and unclear. So it seems, we do not know. We are dependent on storys from different sources.

        1. F1oSaurus (@)
          3rd October 2019, 18:10

          What on earth are you talking about? VET got past in turn 1

          The deal was 100% clear. With an identical start, Vettel passing Leclerc (only because of the tow) would be corrected by swapping the cars back. The starts were identical and the places were swapped. Not sure what is a mystery to you still

  18. Thank you, Keith! The transcript is so useful to see more real facts about Ferrari internal affairs. I can understand why both drivers behaved the way they did. Leclerc cannot afford to be pushed away as Vettel is famous for phrases like “Get Mark out of my way!”

    1. @bulgarian You’re welcome!

  19. Nice details but they change nothing for me.
    I have an ambivalent attitude to VET, but find the whole argument on behalf of LEC in this controversy absurd, from beginning to end. Some pre-race plan!! Ferrari need to get real.

    As for LEC I have tried to warm to him as a driver and as an individual, but so far I really can’t do either esp the latter.

  20. Adub Smallblock
    1st October 2019, 23:48

    To Vettel: Let Charles retake this lap.
    Vettel: Let’s build lead for two more laps.
    To Vettel: Let Charles retake this lap, or your pit stop will be 10 seconds.

    Problem solved.

  21. Wonder if Binotto is asking Wolff for advice.

    1. I don’t see Wolff betraying their better driver by giving the preferred strategy to the one spinning in the midfield and “forgetting” to inform Leclerc that the person with hefty contract has been pitted.

      Neither do I see Hamilton winning driver of the day by saying a popular nostalgic fans’ quote after spinning or destroying the engine in an attempt to prove that “he would have got past the Leclerc anyway”.

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