The crucial difference between Vettel’s two crashes with his team mates

2019 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has a problem. It probably doesn’t come as any consolation to him that, it’s one many of his rival team bosses would like to have.

Having your two drivers eliminate each other while fighting at the front of the field is a “luxury problem” his opposite number at McLaren, Andreas Seidl, doesn’t have to worry about yet.

“It’s obviously a challenge to handle two drivers who are at the same level, especially when it’s about fighting for podiums and wins,” Seidl acknowledged after Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc collided on Sunday.

“At the same time, I’m looking forward to have this luxury problem at some point in the future that having two drivers us that fight for podiums or wins and then having the challenge to deal with this as a team.”

Humiliating though it was for Binotto to see the two SF90s eliminated from the race by the merest of taps, he could at least appreciate there are worse problems to have.

“I think overall it’s still a luxury,” he said on Sunday evening. “The fact that what happened, I would say even [it’s] lucky it happened this season because at least there will be opportunities to clarify with them in the view of next year, I mean [for it] not to happen.

“So I’m happy to take the opportunity of what happened at least to clarify with them for the future.”

What exactly will Binotto “clarify” with his two drivers? For decades F1 team principals have grappled with the question of how to have two drivers capable of wringing the absolute maximum out of a car yet not find themselves trying to occupy the same piece of track at the same time.

For much of its history Ferrari’s unacknowledged policy was to have a de facto number one, whether it was Michael Schumacher (“let Michael past for the championship, Rubens, please”) or Fernando Alonso (“OK Felipe, Fernando is faster than you…”). While this was theoretically not the case during its all-champions line-up of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, in practice Vettel evidently enjoyed preferential status at times.

Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Hockenheimring, 2018
Raikkonen was a more acquiescent team mate
Then Raikkonen was replaced by Charles Leclerc. As many observed at the time, this seemed less a matter of the team losing faith in Raikkonen, than ushering in the next generation of talent in preparation for Vettel’s departure. Vettel had given them too many reasons to doubt his ability to deliver another championship during his 2017 and 2018 fights with Lewis Hamilton.

Nonetheless Ferrari made it clear from the outset that Vettel was expected to be their championship leader. If any 50-50 strategy calls had to be made, said Binotto, the team would favour the more experienced, four-times world champion. But from their very first race as team mates it started to become clear things would not be so simple.

It was telling that when Leclerc closed on Vettel in the final laps of the Australian Grand Prix he didn’t immediately get stuck into his team mate, he asked the pit wall if he was allowed to fight Vettel. He was told no, and stayed behind, despite a car advantage which might easily have got him ahead. At the very next race in Bahrain Leclerc, lapping much faster than Vettel, was told to wait behind the Ferrari driver for two laps. He didn’t wait, and sauntered off to what should have been his first race victory, before misfortune intervened.

Ferrari’s initial attempt at imposing order on its drivers didn’t go well. It didn’t get better at China, where Leclerc was ordered to let Vettel though, and complied. But Vettel made no further ground on his rivals, while the time Leclerc lost meant he was jumped by Max Verstappen.

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As the season wore on shortcoming of their SF90 became a more pressing problem than relations between the two drivers. There were few further flash-points until after the summer break, when Ferrari hit their stride and began winning races again. Leclerc showed Vettel a clean pair of heels at Spa, but in Ferrari’s backyard the tensions hit a new high.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Monza, 2019
Monza qualifying was a key Ferrari flash-point
The team arranged its Q3 runs in order to give each driver the benefit of the other’s tow for one lap. Leclerc had Vettel’s tow on the first run, and the arrangement should have been reversed during the second run. This didn’t happen, but how far this was down to circumstances or cynical behaviour on Leclerc’s part is open to a broad degree of interpretation.

Their final runs in Q3 were complicated by drivers from rival teams driving slowly in an effort not to lead the queue. The Ferrari drivers left the pits in the correct order but Vettel passed Leclerc soon afterwards. While Leclerc should have known it was his responsibility to lead Vettel around the out-lap, it was Vettel who changed the running order of the two cars, and Leclerc’s opportunity to get back in front of his team mate was limited by the lack of time available and the fact Carlos Sainz Jnr passed the pair of them.

Despite the mitigating factors involved, Ferrari were clearly very unhappy with Leclerc over this. Binotto told him “today you are forgiven” on the radio after the race. “It’s true that in Monza it has not been an easy situation to manage,” said Binotto in Brazil. “They had to clarify, they spoke together face to face, openly.”

Vettel had a shocker of a race at Monza, spinning out, colliding with another car and failing to score. Perhaps that prompted the team to throw him a bone in Singapore. Leclerc again led the way, but Ferrari’s efforts to get Vettel ahead of Hamilton also jumped him ahead of Leclerc. The team could easily have reversed the running order of their cars and given Leclerc back the lead they had taken away from him. But that would have meant telling Vettel to get out of the way, a call he would not have welcomed.

Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Sochi Autodrom, 2019
Vettel ignored orders to let Leclerc by in Sochi
Perhaps Binotto also suspected Vettel would not obey such a call anyway. If so, the next race proved him utterly correct.

The drivers’ comments after the Sochi race and the team radio messages during it showed what the team was attempting to do at the start of the race. Leclerc had qualified on pole, Vettel third, the pair separated by Hamilton. Evidently, Ferrari told their drivers that Leclerc should give Vettel the benefit of his slipstream to help him pass Hamilton, but that if they made similar starts and that slipstream enabled Vettel to pass Leclerc as well, Vettel would be told to give his team mate the lead of the race.

This was an ambitious attempt at stage-managing the start and it backfired when Vettel did pass Leclerc but repeatedly ignored the team’s calls for him to move over. It proved academic, as his car was doomed not to finish the race anyway. By then the team had switched the running order of its drivers using their strategy. Unlike in Singapore, this seemed to be intentional, though Binotto denied that. It remains unknown whether the team intend to issue a ‘hold position’ order to Vettel to ensure Leclerc the victory.

The drivers were called to another post-race summit following the Sochi episode. Their next significant interaction on track did not happen until Brazil, and was by far the most destructive yet.

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Ferrari’s justification for its “50-50” policy at the start of the season was that Vettel was their best chance in the championship. But arriving at Interlagos Leclerc had a 19-point lead on him.

Vettel had a clear chance to take a bite out of his team mate’s advantage in Brazil, as Leclerc had to take a 10-place grid penalty for a power unit change. Although Leclerc swiftly made his way through the midfield, he had little chance of catching up with his team mate, who was eyeing a shot at the lead as he ran a different strategy to front-runners Verstappen and Hamilton.

That all changed when the Safety Car came out. Leclerc had qualified on mediums because of his penalty, which meant he had a new set of soft tyres waiting for him. Vettel did not, meaning he couldn’t take advantage of an opportunity to make a low-cost pit stop and attack the leaders, and would come under pressure from those behind him.

Vettel knew the cards had fallen badly for him. After the Safety Car was deployed he was told to “stay out”, but he checked to be sure:

Vettel:Turn six
Do we have a gap for a pit stop?
To Vettel:Turn eight
We are staying out.
Vettel:Turn 11
How many places do we lose if we box?
To Vettel:We don’t have a good tyres, we don’t have good tyres available.
Vettel:Turn 12
But we have from quali, one lap.
To Vettel:Turn 13
No, negative because we had damage. Stay positive [on lap time delta].
Vettel:Turn 14
That’s only one tyre. I stay out?
To Vettel:Pit entry
Stay out, stay out.
Vettel:OK, too late.

Vettel had gone from having an outside chance at attacking the leaders to being under attack from behind. When the race restarted he was immediately passed by Alexander Albon, and as soon as he dropped out of the Red Bull’s DRS range Leclerc launched his surprise attack at turn one.

At that moment Vettel knew if he did not re-pass Leclerc he was staring at a points swing towards his team mate which would almost certainly mean finishing the season second of the two Ferraris. In his desperation to regain the position, he overstepped the mark.

The similarities between what happened next and Vettel’s other notorious collision with a team mate – Mark Webber at Istanbul in 2010 – are obvious. There are subtle differences, but in both cases he was in the process of passing the team’s other car and squeezed them too hard in an attempt to make them avoid trying to ‘win’ the next corner. In Brazil, Vettel needed to press Leclerc into backing out of an attempt to re-pass, as his team mate’s tyres were that bit fresher, making him more of a threat in the braking zone.

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Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Istanbul, 2010
Vettel blamed Webber for their Istanbul clash
But similarities between the two incidents extend far deeper than the manner in which the cars interacted. Heading into the 2010 Turkish Grand Prix, Webber had won the preceding two races and was leading the championship, 15 points and four places ahead of Vettel. Then, as last Sunday, Vettel was feeling the heat from a team mate and reacted to it badly.

The question now is how Ferrari, and Binotto, will handle it. At Red Bull nine years ago Helmut Marko beat the drum in favour of Vettel. Webber accused the team of tilting too much in favour of Vettel.

The Ferrari of today could be accused of doing the same. Leclerc was rebuked on the radio and in public for the Monza incident and his Singapore radio messages. Vettel’s insubordination in Russia did not prompt a similar response. But the rashness he displayed in Brazil is not something they can allow to go unchecked.

Besides which, where Vettel represented the bright future for Red Bull in 2010, it is surely Leclerc who occupies that position at Ferrari today. That may prove the vital difference between two otherwise similar events.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

2019 F1 season

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Author information

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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  • 73 comments on “The crucial difference between Vettel’s two crashes with his team mates”

    1. Struggling to see what the “crucial” difference was? Very long article but (no offence) I think much of it waffle.

      Debatable whether he did overstep the mark given the stewards found it to be a racing incident – I thought they were both to blame.

      1. @cduk_mugello I get the feeling that it was because it was a small contact that the stewards took that decision, but surely everyone can see that because it was vettel that moved on the straight that he’s far more to blame

      2. The only reason they found it a racing incident was because they were teammates. If vettel did that to a Mercedes or Red bull he would have clearly gotten a penalty

        1. @carlosmedrano Leclerc did a far more aggressive nudge earlier in the race on Norris and got no penalty. Granted there wasn’t contact, but what Vettel did wasn’t particularly aggressive to me. Both to blame. Should give more space when racing a team mate!

          1. Lenny (@leonardodicappucino)
            20th November 2019, 17:03

            @cduk_mugello Leclerc’s move on Albon was a regular move onto the racing line from the curb. He didn’t actually move that much or that aggressively, but Norris reacted to it a lot, which made the incident seem a lot worse than it was. With respect to the Leclerc/Vettel incident, Leclerc didn’t “leave enough space” because he made his move before his teammate was alongside. Vettel could have gone to the inside, but tried to squeeze through a very narrow gap. He then moved left, and with the small space and massive overspeed Vettel had, he gave Leclerc no chance to react and move left. In addition, bullying another driver to the inside of the track on a straight is totally fair game in a hard fight, but is only meant to significantly disadvantage the other driver, and thus probably shouldn’t be employed against a teammate.

      3. Struggling to see what the “crucial” difference was?

        Besides which, where Vettel represented the bright future for Red Bull in 2010, it is surely Leclerc who occupies that position at Ferrari today. That may prove the vital difference between two otherwise similar events.

        @cduk_mugello So because he used the word ‘vital’ instead of ‘crucial’ in the final line you struggled to understand the point of the whole article?

        1. Have you ever heard the saying; “Never look a gift horse in the mouth”? Always look a gift horse in the mouth! Maybe Keith is playing a bit. There was no difference at all. None what so ever. :-) If only Webber weighed less. It was never a fair fight. Fact. :-) Monaco he certainly prevailed. I wonder why? :-) Yes I am teasing here. :-) Let’s see if anyone bites. :-0

      4. The penultimate sentence.

    2. The way the teams react to this will be obviously different. There’s no reason why someone of Helmut Marko’s calibre in Ferrari would go out and back his driver as hard as Helmut did back then. I don’t expect Ferrari to publicly go out and sit on Charles side.

      Which, to be fair, might even make the situation even worse… They didn’t favour anyone in previous events, so not going all.out and backing one of them.might let the door open for everything to happen again.

    3. Title says:

      The crucial difference between Vettel’s two crashes with his team mates

      Article says:

      The similarities between what happened next and Vettel’s other notorious collision with a team mate – Mark Webber at Istanbul in 2010 – are obvious. There are subtle differences, but in both cases he was in the process of passing the team’s other car and squeezed them too hard […]

      But similarities between the two incidents extend far deeper than the manner in which the cars interacted.

      I’m really not seeing a difference – let alone a crucial one – spelt out here. Huge recap of the two Ferrari drivers’ seasons, though :(

      1. Ah, so this bit was added after our comments, @rockie, @cduk_mugello (I’ve edited it for brevity):

        At Red Bull nine years ago Helmut Marko beat the drum in favour of Vettel. Webber accused the team of tilting too much in favour of Vettel.

        The Ferrari of today could be accused of doing the same.

        Besides which, where Vettel represented the bright future for Red Bull in 2010, it is surely Leclerc who occupies that position at Ferrari today. That may prove the vital difference between two otherwise similar events.

        1. @phylyp

          Still arrant nonsense, just a waste of time.

        2. this bit was added after our comments

          No, nothing has been added, those sentences were in the article when it was originally published.

          1. @keithcollantine – in that case, I apologize, Keith. My bad.

      2. I read the title and thought “Maybe there’s an interesting angle to the argument”. Then I open the link and the first thing I see is that picture and, well…
        Even before reading the article, I’m noticing something of a pattern, there.

        PS: I know the photos may not be exactly from just before the crashes. It’s just a strange thing to be juxtaposed to the title.

        1. Back in the day I used to accuse keith of being the biggest Vettel fan boy.. So nope. No pattern there.

    4. Just a load of waffle, also misrepresenting events, trying to somehow say Vettel was at fault for Monza.

    5. this is getting ridiculous. another day another article about bashing vettel. this has to be stopped, as i said before this is very unprofessional. why do you feel is it necessary to manipulate the fans against vettel?

      i know it’s hard to accept because “leclerc is the new superstar, he’s so talented that in wheel to wheel battles never makes mistakes”, but is was a racing incident. he could have avoided it, but he didn’t. where are the articles about hamilton’s mistake? ah, i know it doesn’t matter, because he’s not vettel, no chance for clickbaiting :(

      1. Maybe vettel can stop making soo many stupid mistakes and they will stop making articles about his mistakes. How the hell are vettel fans still defending him?!? Do you guys even watch the races

      2. You need to lie down.

        Hamilton went for an open door and misjudged, apologised and was penalised.

        Vettel literally drove into his teammate, didnt apologise and the FIA is too scared to penalise him since Canada because of his emotionally unstable fanbase.

        Drawing comparisons between the two highlights PEAK delusion and desparation.

      3. Telling the truth is not manipulation. Seb is robbing us of great racing by making mistakes that are avoidable. He is the one trying to manipulate the truth by denying facts which is a shame because he doesn’t learn from his mistakes. How exciting would the race have been in Brazil if the two Ferraris had been in the mix until the chequered flag.

        1. manipulation is speaking about ONLY one incident and one driver day by day

          1. manipulation is speaking about ONLY one incident and one driver day by day

            Nobody else is making as constant or boneheaded mistakes at the front of the field, naturally it’s going to be picked apart. Don’t like it? Don’t visit the site. Simple.

      4. You should join reddit then, where the “class act”, “super guy” Seb can do no wrong.

    6. We’re going through this again? Of all the things that could be analysed and really looked into this ain’t it. I get it’s often popular to bash Vettel but this feels a little unnecessary. Like it mentions any issue regarding Leclerc as ‘open to broad interpretation’ but anything against Vettel is presented as 100% fact. Feels a bit like kicking someone when they’re down.

      Instead, could we have an in depth analysis and details of Sainz’s rise from 20th to 3rd to grab McLaren’s first podium in years? Or on the performance of the Honda powered cars and how threatening they’ve become in a straight line – also Albon’s almost podium, Verstappen’s dominant win and Gasly’s drive to 2nd? Or how Mercedes race fell apart?

      1. @rocketpanda To take your first example:

        could we have an in depth analysis and details of Sainz’s rise from 20th to 3rd to grab McLaren’s first podium in years?

        This was covered partly in the interactive race analysis:

        https://www.racefans.net/2019/11/17/2019-brazilian-grand-prix-interactive-data-lap-charts-times-and-tyres/

        We also had another piece on Norris’s role in it, which I don’t think I’ve seen much coverage of elsewhere (do correct me if I’m wrong on that):

        https://www.racefans.net/2019/11/18/norris-let-sainz-pass-him-because-he-was-s-slow/

        And a reaction piece from Seidl:

        https://www.racefans.net/2019/11/19/seidl-couldnt-be-happier-as-mclaren-clinch-fourth-in-championship/

        However there is a simple reason why there isn’t more/better coverage of the McLaren podium: Sainz and Seidl finished their interviews before Hamilton’s penalty was announced, so they didn’t know they had it.

        So I think we’ve done justice to that story and much of your other examples, including in the race report itself. But I think an incident of the magnitude of this one deserve an analysis piece.

        Thanks for the feedback. There’s always things we can learn on how to do better, and when there’s a very lively race like Brazil there are always a lot of storylines competing for attention.

        1. As a McLaren fan…atic delighted by the result, regardless of the luck involved, I thought the coverage was fine.

        2. @keithcollantine Great article and I appreciate how you summed it up in the last sentence. It’s going to be fascinating to watch this driver duo and their dynamic, next year. How well each takes to the new cars and tires and Pu work for next year. I would love to see Ferrari offer only one order. Race but keep it civil. As best as can reasonably be expected anyway. And just manage it. They’re having to manage with orders anyway. Surely they won’t have to deal with as ‘viscous’ a rivalry as LH/NR. They’ll just likely do their own thing anyway, so why add the empty pre race agreements to muddy the waters. Imho of course.

    7. btw it is clear that vettel also wanted to make a pitstop. ferrari didn’t allow so we can make theories about the reasons. was the available set really damaged? or ferrari wanted to put leclerc ahead with fresher tyres? probably there’s more in that “collision” than we know – again. one thing what binotto is saying to the public about who’s ferrari’s number one driver, but another thing what is really happening

      it is clear that ferrari deliberately put their drivers on different tyre strategies in the deciding part of the race. maybe the set was really damaged, who knows. but what if not?

      1. Vettel didn’t have any more soft tyres left.

        1. ??? he had 4 used soft sets for the race. at his second stop he already got a used set. that’s why leclerc was on fresher tyres, he used mediums in q2, so he had one new set of softs for the race. it’s a bit hard to believe that from the remaining 2 sets of soft tyres both were damaged. of course also not impossible

      2. But why assume conspiracy instead of unfortunate issue about the Tyres when there’s no evidence one way or the other?

        Especially as it does not actually change much about what the article says, in fact, if there was this conspiracy, it only strengthens the last paragraph!

    8. The point is Leclerc is not going to be intimidated by anyone, Vettel included. This guy gives no quarter, which is what you want if you are Ferrari. If Leclerc were Hamilton’s team mate, or Verstappen’s, the result would be the same. Vettel was lucky to have Raikkonen next to him for so long, a guy who clearly had no problem with Vettel being the number one driver. Even then, they had their moments.
      Ferrari are not going to drop Charles Leclerc, he is their future. The problem hinges on Vettel and how he is going to handle the situation.

    9. Binotto will not manage the situation based on what we hear from him in this subjective article. It is not so difficult: replace Vettel at the earliest convenience. What you see is his personality. That won’t change. In the past, despite this trait, he has had his successes. They are not going to happen anymore and frankly Ferrair doesn’t need him. Leclerc will do just fine, I guess will do even better. Vettel can do a Kimi or go to Torros Rosso.

    10. Thank you very much for this article! Very nicely and correctly are all the facts put together. I, likewise many other F1 followers, remember most of these facts, but it was very important now to make a bigger picture from these facts, because many facts happen at early spring and we are not keeping in our minds all the details of those races. I am disgusted that some Vettel fans want to brush all these facts under the carpet. Super article, Mr. Keith Collantine!

    11. Vettel got beaten again by a new and younger team mate. Unless he wins the last race and Charles fais to get a top 7 finish, this is it.

      These incidents only makes me agrees with Irvine who said Vettel can be the faster out there leading a race, but once you put him in the middle of the pack, things go sour.

      In fact, since ’16 he did had an abnormal lot of incident with team mates, Kimi and Charles, which he was not supposed to have because he is the number one there. He is not Kubica battling with Russell.

      1. Yes, Vettel at least twice had a collision with even Kimi!
        2017 Singapore Grand Prix:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pi-qitmfvlI
        and 2016 Belgium Grand Prix:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIzPndVXIaQ

        1. There’s 2016 China too. And blamed Kvyat.

        2. Yup I also remember a couple of multi 21 situations with Kimi similar to Leclerc in Australia, and weird strategy to favor him sometimes too. Seb just seems to get nervous whenever he isn’t the number 1 in a race weekend, dude had problems with every single teammate except for Ricciardo?

          I guess he never crashed with him since he was outclassed that year.

          1. To me, Sebastian’s the most telling quote of 2014 season was “Tough luck” and ignoring team orders in China GP:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1NsndBBRFU

    12. Final two lines reflect the exact same conclusion I came to yesterday.

    13. I guess the easiest solution for Ferrari would be for Vettel to retire so they can put a young guy in the car to ride shotgun alongside Leclerc. Ferrari are getting nowhere as they are.

    14. Not being a Ferrari fan, long may this continue. They’ve undoubtedly got two top drivers, but Leclerc has decided he’s an aggressive driver (blame Max) and Vettel tends to drive wildly in pressure situations. In terms of qualifying and race speed, they seem to have evened out over the season, for whatever reason, presenting another problem for Ferrari’s management, including perhaps how they develop the car. Moreover, next year they could (finally) also have Red Bull to worry about too.

      Let’s be clear, Ferrari could have won the drivers championship this season, the car and engine had the potential. For the third year running they threw away far too many races.

      1. What the heck season are you watching? The only car capable of winning the championship this season was the Mercedes and that’s a fact.

        1. This season:
          Australia – Mercedes
          Bahrain – should have been a Ferrari (Leclerc) win, Leclerc engine failure, Vettel spun around in thin air
          China – Mercedes
          Baku – should have been a Ferrari (Leclerc) win, Leclerc binned it in qualifying after the team messed up tyres
          Spain – Mercedes
          Monaco – Mercedes, but Leclerc could have finished far higher (another Ferrari qualifying mess up)
          Canada – should have been a Ferrari win (Vettel cracked under pressure)
          France – Mercedes
          Austria – Red Bull (Leclerc second)
          GB – Mercedes
          Germany – who knows? But again Ferrari failed already dismally in qualifying
          Following this analysis which maximizes Ferrari’s points haul, Leclerc at this stage would be just 7 points behind Hamilton, in second in the WDC.
          Hungary (Mercedes) is next, but after that you have 3 Ferrari wins in a row (Belgium, Italy, Singapore) and then 3 races where Ferrari were faster than Mercedes but somehow contrived to lose to them. Add those up and Leclerc/Ferrari would be way ahead. As well as the points advantage, that would have put the pressure on Mercedes and Hamilton.
          Ferrari undoubtedly have the fastest engine and hybrid system, and probably have an aerodynamically better (grippier) car than Mercedes in fast and medium corners, but failed to maximize its potential over the season. Their main issues, though, have been mechanical, driver and strategy failures, again.

          1. Bahrain was the only race were Ferrari had a faster car come race day. The only race.

      2. @david-br

        Ferrari have been throwing away races since the Brawn effect wore off in 2008.

        1. @bigjoe True but apart from throwing away Alonso’s championship at Abu Dhabi, they haven’t been close (in terms of car performance) like the last 3 seasons.

    15. Keith pushing his usual anti-vettel agenda ( unaware newbies only look at the site’s content over the years).

      1. Jay the typical Vettel fan putting his fingers in ears and loudly talking to himself in the face of overwhelming photographic and historic evidence of poor driving upon which reporting is apparently bIaS.

        1. I too get anti-Vettel agenda vibes from Keith’s articles over the years.

    16. This article is the reason why I don’t read this website anymore. A mildly clickbait-y title then a flood of words and no actual quality content… Read the whole thing and still struggling to understand what is the difference? Thought I must be stupid but I see my sentiment is widely shared.
      Also, Im very far from being a Vettel’s fan, I actually consider him one of the most overrated drivers ever, but the Vettel-bashing twist this website has taken lately is extremely unprofessional, gives the whole site a fan-made feeling that takes away a lot of credibility.

      1. This article is the reason why I don’t read this website anymore.

        @liongalahad did you have someone read this article aloud to you then?

    17. For much of its history Ferrari’s unacknowledged policy was to have a de facto number one, … in practice Vettel evidently enjoyed preferential status at times.

      The issue I see is that despite being the defacto Number One driver, and despite getting the favourable strategies, Sebastian is 19 points behind Charles. Going into the Grand Prix it was essential for Sebastian to finish in a good points place and Charles with few points if Sebastian was to finish the season ahead of him, and that definitely wasn’t going to happen the moment eager Charles, in a car with new soft tyres, appeared behind him. I guess one question lurking in the background is “How personally does Sebastian take this?”.
      According to Racefan’s “2020 Drivers and Teams” page, it currently says Charles still hasn’t been confirmed as having a signed contract with Ferrari. Assuming that is correct, then why haven’t they signed their top point scoring driver for next season? Maybe Ferrari gave Sebastian a say as to who his 2020 season team mate would be. If so … then I guess Ferrari have some difficult decisions to make.

      1. @drycrust No, he indeed is under contract for next season. To my knowledge, it’s till 2022, although that’s questionable given that Ferrari’s commitment to F1 lasts till the end of next season, not yet beyond that.

        1. @jerejj My thanks for correcting me. I was in a hurry and didn’t have time to check that fact. Apologies to anyone affected by my assumption.

      2. Not getting favorable strategy. Simply not true.

    18. Whatever you talks about Vettel is true but clearly Lecler knew what to do, at that moment, to allow Vettel to crash with him and everybody points a finger on him. He is a superstar on this.

      I don’t know who is from WDC champions did like that in Ferrari and I don’t know if someone in Ferrari wants to have that kind of champion.

      1. This is my assessment of the situation as well. Leclerc stayed put knowing a crash was likely but that it would hurt Vettel worse than himself. And it has, both in champion ship standings and also PR.

        Leclerc seems to be ruthless and calculated, and this is not the only incident where he has shown it. In that sense, he is much like other WDC’s like Senna and Schumacher.

    19. Ferrari aren’t good enough for 2 x Number ones. They need a dominant car with a high chance of 1,2 finishes to keep things how they are. They need a proper Junior team and demote drivers when necessary. With a budget cap, these incidents will be costly.

    20. If one of the 2 drivers is going to pick up the pace next season with almost certainty that’s Charles. I’m pretty sure even the most hardcore Vettel defenders don’t believe he will ever be faster especially over a single lap.

      Ferrari has a history of incompetent decision making though. I don’t have it past them to dump Charles for a better no 2 driver to Vettel.

    21. Interesting article only for the obviousness of the slant and the intentionally missing details. I say intentional because Dieter knows the full details of formula 1 better than any of us (hes got inside contacts too), but leaves out simple things like how Seb was put on a stratgey in Australia to TRY and challenge the leaders but was stopped way too early, thus compromising the end of the race for him allowing Leclerc to close up easily. 100% obvious if you watched the race, and leaving that out paints a different picture no? Thats just one example.

      1. Exactly, a lot of details are intentionally left out to show Leclerc as the faster of the two

        Australia- As you pointed out, Leclerc was close to Vettel only due to strategy and had qualified behind him. If you observed the first stint, Leclerc was well behind as well.

        China- Vettel was faster than Leclerc. Staying behind him for that many would have ruined his tyres and thus he wasnt able to gap further. Had he been let past earlier, I am pretty Seb would have gapped Charles fairly easily

        Italy- Had Vettel’s first run had the slipstream, it was clear that he would have been on pole position and probably the race would have had a different tune with Lec starting behind than Vettel on 4th

        I agree with your assessment on Singapore, Russia and Bahrain where Vettel did not deserve to be ahead of Lec. But the other examples are clearly biased to favour Leclerc.

      2. Exactly why I said the article is arrant nonsense.

    22. The two Ferraris could crash in every race and the team would still get the same amount of money. Obviously they would need it if that were to happen!

      1. @danmar Imagine Ferrari under reverse grid qualifying…

      2. They arent reusing much that isnt regulated anyway i doubt crashing means alot to their economy.

    23. At Turkey you could say Vettel was returning to the racing line for the upcoming corner. I actually think Webber liked playing the innocent card knowing full well he stuck to his line despite Vettel having to return right even a little bit.

      With regards 2019, Vettel tried to squeeze Leclerc. That’s absolutely fine in my book, the problem is it’s doing it against your teammate and that’s where the difference lies.

    24. @keithcollantine I think you missed the two actual differences though
      1) In 2010 Red Bull really wanted Vettel in front of Webber. So they told Webber to save fuel and told Vettel to crank it up and that he had 3 laps to attempt an overtake. As Helmut Marko put it, he didn’t understand why the team didn’t simply tell Webber to let Vettel past. Which was of course because team orders were not allowed until Ferrari did it and made it “salonfähig”.
      2) Vettel’s move in Turkey actually made sense. He needed to get back to the racing line. In Brazil it was solely a blatant bullying move on his team mate.

    25. For those who don’t get the gist of the article, the crucial difference between Vettel’s collisions with his teammates is, Vettel was the future of Red Bull at that time, he is now the driver with a sell-by date at Ferrari. Leclerc is now the future of Ferrari.

    26. So Sebastian is the devil of all time. Thanks for information. #BiasedJournalism

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