Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Sochi Autodrom, 2019

Vettel praises “very good job” by Leclerc after losing qualifying battle

2019 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel praised his team mate’s performances in qualifying after losing the head-to-head between them of the 2019 season.

With two races to go Charles Leclerc has out-qualified Vettel 10-7 over the sessions where both drivers set times.

“First of all Charles has done a very good job in qualifying,” said Vettel when asked about their qualifying performances. “I don’t think it’s right sitting here and not mentioning that, so that needs to be appreciated.”

Leclerc was beaten by Vettel over all bar one of the first seven qualifying sessions this year. Then Ferrari’s new driver hit his stride and has now taken seven pole positions, meaning he will at least share this year’s pole position award.

Vettel, who had started behind Leclerc for nine races in a row at one stage, admitted there were several occasions when he should have qualified better. “Here and there certainly I didn’t have great sessions in qualifying,” he said.

“Things maybe didn’t come together the way I would have liked. Here and there I think I missed out on qualifying for different reasons.

“But, overall, I can’t be happy with how qualifying was this year. Certainly the goal is for the final races to make sure we have a good Saturday and not a good Sunday.”

The last time Vettel was beaten in qualifying by a team mate over the course of a season was in 2016, when Kimi Raikkonen out-qualified him 11-10.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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40 comments on “Vettel praises “very good job” by Leclerc after losing qualifying battle”

  1. In symmetry to his debut season. All top drivers are immediately quick, Charles isn’t but he figures things out where most other drivers get lost.

    1. Leclerc went into ferrari being a number 2, by driving faster and more consistently then Vettel Ferrari leveled the playing field for both drivers, unlike the other drivers that went into their teams with priority or equal status

      1. That’s why he asked the team to tell VET let him ahead from race1 of the season…. cause he’s a no.2?!? Where was LEC in Quali in USA? Behind VET. You don’t make much sense although the reality is more than obvious.

        1. @mg1982 Are you seriously going to debate that Leclerc was the designated no 2 driver? Seriously!!?!?!? They saoid it over and over and made deciscions based on that statement, over and over. Until it was 200% clear that Vettel is as horrible as the rest of the world realised from 2017 and even more through 2018 and then again the start of 2019.

          Also, where was Lec in quali USA? He was driving an older spec engine is where he was! Which part of “Vettel, who had started behind Leclerc for nine races in a row at one stage” did you not understand?

          Leclerc started off a bit slow, but he quickly started annihilating Vettel.

          1. So, they didn’t have any engine problem, no? I mean, you said it’s “weird” Ferrari suddenly went back to an old spec of the engine since FIA issued that directive.

            Yeah, I’m debating, ’cause he wasn’t obviously! It’s pure logic, when a driver is a no.2, he’s not asking the team to tell the other driver to let him in front. We’ve heard and witnessed Mercedes turn BOT into a no.2 to help HAM a loooooot more than Ferrari did with RAI and/or LEC. RAI was pretty much useless. Also, very conveniently, you seem to forget the times VET played 2nd to RAI and LEC. VET was racing for the win in Germany 2018, made his pit-stop, yet RAI did not bother to let him in front. In France tho, VET didn’t not make RAI lose precious time behind him. Another proof RAI wasn’t helping VET is the fuss he made in Monaco 2017, although VET beat him fair and square in the race, the same way you’re praising HAM for some “great” racing when he wins when not starting from PP.

            PS: waiting for the day when BOT is asking the team to tell HAM let him in front because he’s faster, and prove us all wrong he’s not a mere no.2! HAM is not losing any chance to ask such thing. Only last race BOT missed the chance to turn the favour and prove us wrong……

          2. Wow, calm down a bit, your vein will pop.

          3. “. We’ve heard and witnessed Mercedes turn BOT into a no.2 to help HAM a loooooot more than Ferrari did with RAI and/or LEC.”

            Really? Ferrari used team orders in the first 4-5 races this year, while Mercedes only used them in Singapore.

            Last year, Ferrari turned Kimi into a number 2 as early as China,e.g. https://f1i.com/news/301163-italian-media-takes-issue-ferraris-treatment-raikkonen.html.

            On the other hand, in 2018, Merc didn’t start to use team orders until the 2nd half of the season because by then, Hamilton had already opened up a gap to Bottas by his own performance – & had the most realistic shot at the championship.

  2. If vetel have manages to qualified at least second at singapore and russia ferrari could have 1-2 finishes without the drama

    1. *managed to qualify

  3. That is quite impressive, turning 7 to 1 to 9 in a row.

    Leclerc modified his style, and let his innate speed shine. It is rather amazing. I totally forgot Kimi beat Vettel 11 to 10 in 2016. That is even more interesting.

    Vettel who can be by stat regarded as one of greatest qualifiers of this generation…

    Hamilton would never let Bottas outqualify him 9 races in a row.

    1. Well, he let BOT outqualify him over a year (2019)!

      1. Well, he let BOT outqualify him over a year (2019)!

        Not unless you are living in some alternate universe. Bottas is a pretty good qualifier (always has been) but he’s never out-qualified Hamilton over a full season. Don’tt start making up things to suit your narrative

      2. Erm. No.

      3. It’s 12-7 in favor of Hamilton vs. Bottas. Would be funny to see where you cooked up this stat.

    2. He had a lot of poles with the right equipment. Compared with excellent teammates Vettel does not perform. Ricci crushed him, kimi to and now Leclerc. So not really special. It looks like lec was better on the cheat mode.

      1. 7-12 is not being crushed, and Kimi lost by a great, great margin. Leclerc leads 11-7.

        Doesn’t look good, I agree, but that is not “being crushed”…

        1. These guys have their own reality. Funny none mention that “the great” HAM had to get a free win from BOT in his WDC fight, making 2002 Austria look like a joke.

          1. @mg1982 Where do you buy your drugs? We all need to know because we clearly need to stay away from that “cleveland steamer”

          2. Funny none mention that “the great” HAM had to get a free win from BOT in his WDC fight, making 2002 Austria look like a joke

            Austria was the 4 or 5th race of the 2002 season? Far too early to be backing one horse. Russia 2018 was towards the end of the 2018 season, by which time, Hamilton, through his own skill had pulled ahead of Bottas. It made sense for Merc to therefore back Hamilton from that point onwards. Merc gave both their drivers equal chance to compete in the first half, & then backed the driver who had got himself ahead

      2. Kimi ‘crushed’ Vettel. Gimme a break, I watched every race during that era and Kimi was the one being crushed week after week.

    3. That was 2014.

      1. ups, 2016 is correct.

  4. Ricciardo also out-qualified Vettel in 2014. So that’s now 3 teammates who have gotten the better of Vettel over 1 lap.

    1. Just goes to show that he isn’t as fast as most people considered him to be during the Red bull rocket ship days. I wouldn’t rate Vettel as a great wheel to wheel racer either. It’s so surprising to see him with 4 WDCs after all these years.

      1. Ok let’s stick with the numbers:

        Vettel has qualified 159 times in front of his team mates, and lost 80 battles. That’s almost exactly a 2:1 ratio, 66,5%.

        Hamilton has won 160 qualy battles, and lost 88. That’s 64,5%.

        Vettels battle with Kimi ended 57-24, so I wouldn’t take that one season where Kimi won that much into account.
        After all, Lewis lost to Nico 7-12 in 2014. That total, also over 4 seasons, adds up to 42-36, which is pretty even.

        I think it is fair to say that Nico Rosberg was a great qualifier (and Button was always pretty bad at that, on the other hand), so I wouldn’t count that into Vettels favor.

        What I am saying is that the 1 lap performance in quali is not too different, over their careers, between Lewis and Seb.

        One might say that a season against Alonso (who was also known to be better on a Sunday than on a Saturday) and four against Rosberg, plus a decent qualifier like Vallteri makes it 8 difficult duels.

        I think Kimi is comparable to Vallteri in terms of quali pace; Webber is surely better than Kovalainen and Button at it, maybe a tad worse than Rosberg. And Leclerc is pretty damn good.

        So I would say that this is closer to a tie than some might believe.

        1. @magon 4 – you conveniently forgot that Lewis had to start from the back row no less than 4 times because of various engine related issues in 2014. And in what universe is 42-36 “pretty even”?

          1. in a quite a few universes… ;)

      2. Yeah, in your opinion I guess anybody can take the PP and win in an STR… only that VET managed it in their 13 years of existence.

        1. A TR that was designed by Adrian Newey and basically an off the shelf RBR…

          1. You’re trying to imply something, truth is it was a midfield car.

        2. @mg1982

          That’s the standard response for people who claim Vettel was something exceptional. It was one race weekend, and a race weekend where the Toro Rosso was exceptionally competitive as well. Get over it.

          Maybe look at Vettel’s qualifying record against younger and faster teammates such as Ricciardo and Leclerc… and look at the slew of errors and championships thrown away as more definitive proof than one weekend in a Toro Rosso.

  5. Vettel is still a fraud, I always knew it.

    1. Could be the worst comment ever posted on F1F and I’ve read quite a few.

    2. Why are you so bitter towards Vettel? Did he kick your cat?!

      Vettel’s one of the most authentic drivers on the grid. When the car is set up the way he like it, he is blindingly fast. When he loses his temper, he doesn’t cover it up. When he cools down, he take responsibility for what he did or said. He helped to push an uncompetitive Ferrari into contention for the championship. Arguably, he made too many mistakes in 2018, and Ferrari have been unable to put the whole package together in 2019.

      Here’s to a very competitive 2020!

      1. @theskeptic

        I’m going home!!!

        Fook you charlie!!!

        When did I do dangerous driving?

        -all BS said by Vettel.

        1. You’re right. He says and does stupid things.

          He apologised to Charlie. He lost control.

          That said, the “dangerous driving” comment… was legitimate. Which part of his driving was dangerous?

  6. I guess it just wasn’t vettels year- vettel fans

    1. hE nEeDs a StaBLe rEaR jUST wAiT unTiL FerRari gIvE hiM a StaBlE reAr

      😂😂

  7. “But, overall, I can’t be happy with how qualifying was this year. Certainly the goal is for the final races to make sure we have a good Saturday and not a good Sunday.”

    Surely that’s a typo?

  8. Some interesting Quali-Stats:

    Max lost his two duels with Carlos and lost to Dan in his first Red Bull season.

    Pascal Wehrlein beat Ocon 7-2 in the frenchman’s rookie season.

    Vettel and Hamilton both lost 7-12 in the same season: the former to Danny Ric, the latter to Nico Rosberg.

    Carlos Sainz Jr first lost a qualy battle last season – to Nico Hülkenberg, 8-13.

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