Leclerc: Vettel knows he shouldn’t have moved left in Brazil crash

2019 F1 season

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Charles Leclerc believes his team mate Sebastian Vettel understands he shouldn’t have moved to the left when the pair collided in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Vettel originally denied turning left into his team mate following the collision which put the two Ferraris out of the race.

Following a meeting between the pair and team principal Mattia Binotto, Leclerc said both drivers could have done more to avoid the crash.

“We called with Seb and we tried to understand both of our situations,” said Leclerc.

“I think probably Seb shouldn’t have gone to the left and he knows it. And I probably could have done a better job of avoiding him going to the left. So both of us have a bit of responsibilities.

“But I think the most important is that everything is clear with Seb now and we move forward.”

Leclerc said the two drivers will still “be able to race together” in future.

“Obviously Seb and myself are very competitive, we both want to win, but we also need to find the right compromise. We are also racing for the same team. We need to be less aggressive towards each other, give a little bit more space for these things to not happen again.”

“The consequences were huge in the last race but if you look back at the contact it was very, very small,” he added. “But it was unfortunate so we’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Leclerc added there has been no discussion of either driver being fined or kept out for a race if they cause any further collisions.

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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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42 comments on “Leclerc: Vettel knows he shouldn’t have moved left in Brazil crash”

  1. It was a silly move by Vettel really (akin to Turkey 2010), and an important message by Charles to let him know that he won’t just move out of his way. Regardless of what’s said in a “meeting”, drivers take note of how others behave wheel to wheel, and you’d expect that to be at the back of their minds in future.

    1. He should, as the #2 driver; or have stayed @Sauber for another year – or two!

      1. He’s all but beaten Seb this year, why should he have stayed at Sauber?

      2. A #2 that’s better than a #1…That’s new.

    2. @3dom

      an important message by Charles to let him know that he won’t just move out of his way

      Well, ‘not just moving out of the way’ when your Opponent clearly has the better run but time is on your side is also not really always the smart thing to do…

      1. @mrboerns Charles still had the inside line to the next corner so there really wasn’t need for him to yield. From Charles’ perspective, he needed to hold his ground to give him chance to let his pass stick, because he can’t currently trust his team not to interfere with team orders, given their leniency regarding Vettel. There’s so much that I admire about Vettel but he really does have to fix up wheel to wheel

      2. That part is debatable. That Vettel simply squeezed his opponent up to the point of touching him provoking an unnecessary accident with a teammate is not. Neither is the fact that he did it twice already. No excuses there.

  2. This is not Leclerc talking but a Ferrari PR machine. Im sure he still sees it as 100% SV’s fault and will change nothing in his approach.

    1. Agreed @ivan-vinitskyy. I doubt that either of them will tbf. But Charles is in the right in this instance imo

    2. Not that simple, while 100% SV fault, Charlses race was ruined, because he did not dodge that failed attempt.

      Keep in mind they were batteling for next corner entry, more Seb pushed him left, harder it is for him to turn in and easier for Seb to keep his position.

      So it was a failure on both drivers, fault of one.

      1. I don’t think Charles cares though. I think he would rather take a DNF in Brazil (which he did) than letting Vettel pass without a fight . he wants to set the tone for next season too I’m sure

  3. headline: Leclerc: Vettel knows he shouldn’t have moved left in Brazil crash
    reality: And I probably could have done a better job of avoiding him going to the left. So both of us have a bit of responsibilities.

    just usual businness here

    1. reality: how does Leclerc do a better job of avoiding Vettel going to the left? By starting and staying further out to the right? They’d have collided more quickly. By moving left himself? Vettel would have continued pushing as that was his objective. The fact is Leclerc can’t do Vettel’s job for him! – at least in Vettel’s car. Though he may be able to do Vettel’s job in his own car – leading the team.

      1. Leclerc almost crashed into Norris on the first lap going violently to the left. But Norris had quick reflexes and avoided the contact. So, yeah, Vettel moved first in a normal instinctive move to cut the angle for the next corner for your opponent. Leclerc didn’t want to yield, so they crashed.
        Vettel started it, Leclerc didn’t avoid it.

  4. “I think probably Seb should have gone to the left and he knows it. And I probably could have done a better job of avoiding him going to the left. So both of us have a bit of responsibilities.

    this is probably a typo. shouldn’t?

  5. Many times this year this squeeze has been done on straights the inside driver moved until there was no space. Charles himself did the squeezing many times this year including in Brazil.
    Obviously its Vettel so we must just bash but what is the rule regarding moving towards another car on the straight? Is it legal if the other driver moves with you and illegal only if there is contact? Vettel wasn’t penalised as well so probably its legal even if there is contact?

    @keithcollantine article says “I think probably Seb should have gone to the left ” rather than “I think probably Seb shouldn’t have gone to the left “

    1. Evans, I don’t think there is a particular rule on what the drivers should do on straights in particular, which perhaps explains why a lot of drivers have performed such a chop – they think they’re more likely to get away with it.

    2. Maybe the difference is that Vettel squeezed his teammates to the point of touching him, retiring both cars ? Of course drivers push the limits. Of course they try to position themselves in the best position and try to push their opponents in the least favorable position. But when you do that in a clumsy manner, crashing you and your opponent you (not mentioning your teammate) you just blown it and yes it makes a big difference.

      1. But in earlier in that very same race, Leclerc also turning left to Norris in the same straight and much more aggressive than Vettel. Norris had to take evasive action and I think he goes a bit to the grass. That incident makes Leclerc a big hypocrite when he criticizing Vettel for doing the same thing and not even as aggressive as he was. Maybe Leclerc should learn from Vettel not to do that kind of thing (swerving wildly on straight and this is not the first time, remember his defense to Hamilton in Monza?) or learn from Norris to know how to react quickly to avoid collision when the driver in front has some issues in his brain or maybe both?

        1. @sonicslv while I agree the move Leclerc did is quite similar to (and rather more aggresive than) Vettel’s and most people are tiptoeing around it, it wasn’t the same straight.

          1. @warheart Thanks for the correction.

  6. Sounds like what I would say if I found a horse’s head in my bed

    1. @eljueta speak to most tifosi and you’ll find they are already firmly behind Charles. Seb is the one more likely to find the horses head.

    2. Oh, the old gangster team theme.
      Really, Ferrari has no ties whatsoever with the ‘FIA.

  7. I believe Vettel’s best chance of being ahead of Leclerc next year is by doing exactly the opposite he’s done this year.

    I mean, he’s trying to fight Leclerc at his own game, young, quick, still learning the outcomes of his actions. Textbook future champion rookie.

    Vettel should be playing to what a 4x WDC strength’s should be: consistently scoring points, risking only when it matters, bringing the team to his side.

    Leclerc would make the mistakes that he could avoid, and the points scale would tip to his side.

    Maybe is too late now, let’s see if he can save himself next year.

    Alonso’s point of no return was the “GP2 engine” incident, after the “I want a RedBull as a birthday gift”, the Renault crashgate and the McLaren war.

    So now Vettel has Turkey 2010, Multi 21, Baku Road Rage, Russia 2019 team orders and now the “muss da sein” Brazil 2019.

    Did he didn’t pass the point of no return?

    1. Alonso’s points were political errors not driver errors

    2. Except the only reason he has 4x championships is because he was in a dominant car with a teammate that wasn’t allowed to challenge him. He is insanely overrated

  8. Vettel had already overtook him in a full car length although in a very millimeters.
    So he had the right to make a one move, right ? So, he did.

    Leclerc had a choice either to make a crash just pushing forward or take a smart move either left or a bit back off and take him after. He preferred the first.

  9. Interesting to see that Charles keeps trying to make his point. Yes, Vettel made a clear mistake. But we don’t need Charles to remind us. Reminds me of his radio messages earlier this year. No driver should deem himself bigger than the team. Ferrari should make better work of keeping discussions like this indoors. Albeit they have bigger concerns already…

  10. That Charlie guy is a smart boy, indeed. He gives nice and tasty cookies to the journos but the message sent to Vettel and to the team is clear and he’s aware of that.

  11. “We called with Seb and we tried to understand both of our situations,” said Leclerc

    Guessing Seb didn’t want a face to face?

    1. Given his wife was heavily pregnant this week and was due any time, isn’t it reasonable he should be home in Switzerland?

      1. Just heard that Sebs a new dad.
        Sorry don’t follow the private lives of athletes.

        1. Its okay man, no apology necessary!

  12. But… but… Seb was going straight :D

  13. Lol good luck getting vettel and his fans to admit it

  14. Let’s hope the stewards have some guts this weekend and actually penalize LEC for making a double move on race day.

    1. not really a double move since he was the one overtaking, also, I think the fact that Ferrari had both cars DNFed is penalty enough…

  15. So far the right stance. I hope that VET will keep the streak, taking on his responsibility.

  16. The fault this time is 70-30 Vettel But Charles squeezed Hamilton way more than that at Monza and he got away with it. Also Max got away with it squeezing Charles at Redbull Ring for the win.

  17. Vettel and Leclerc were insanly unlucky.

    Vettel did a pretty normal thing. Leclerc tried to challenge it.
    in 99% of the cases, they would have had a small nudge and gone thru with the race.

    The only reason we are talking about it is because they hit that 1% and 2 tires were busted.
    They can do the same for next season with different results. Just get on with it.

  18. Me say alone ramp.

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