Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
FP1 in
28 days
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
51 days
09 May
Next event in
69 days
23 May
Race in
86 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
100 days
13 Jun
Race in
107 days
27 Jun
Race in
121 days
04 Jul
Next event in
125 days
18 Jul
Race in
142 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
156 days
29 Aug
Race in
184 days
05 Sep
Race in
191 days
12 Sep
Race in
198 days
26 Sep
Race in
212 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
216 days
10 Oct
Race in
226 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
240 days
31 Oct
Race in
247 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
268 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
282 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
289 days

Vettel admits team orders defiance was "not right"

Sebastian Vettel admits ignoring Ferrari's team orders in the Russian Grand Prix was "not right", but says the controversy has now been cleared up.

shares
comments
Vettel admits team orders defiance was "not right"

In Russia, the four-time world champion took the lead at the start of the race after a pre-race agreement that dictated pole man Charles Leclerc should tow his teammate, and not second qualifier Lewis Hamilton.

However, when asked later to swap positions with Leclerc, Vettel didn't do so and the Monegasque driver was left frustrated.

Vettel and Leclerc had separate meetings with team boss Mattia Binotto in Maranello last week, but the German played down the significance of his chat with him.

"Generally, everything is clear," said Vettel. "Of course you talk to each other. There was a conversation, but there were also other conversations. I wouldn't make such a fuss around the whole story.

"I think there were positive things in Russia as well. For the first time this year we had a very, very good pace in the race to hold up against Mercedes.

"In the other races we might have been in front here and there, but in general we were a bit slower. So there are positive and not so positive things.

"What agreement there was or wasn't, or who is right and who isn't, is perhaps not so important.

"But of course I got the message at the radio to change the place, and did not do it. And that was certainly not right."

Read Also:

Asked if the rules on team orders were now written in stone he said: "I don't know, there's some stones but we didn't write anything in stone, I don't think it's necessary.

"Obviously there are probably certain things we could have done better looking back. In the end we look forward to this race and the next races, so I'm not worried too much."

Vettel denied that Leclerc's performances had put pressure on him and contributed to his decision to stay ahead in Russia.

"No, not at all. Obviously I'm not happy if I'm slower, whether it's practice or qualifying or race, that's been the same not just this year, but the years before as well. There are certain things, obviously this year I struggled here and there with the car, which I think didn't allow me to maybe extract my best.

"I don't think it would have been any different of anybody else had been in the other car. Charles is doing a very good job, but I generally believe it's first of all a race against yourself and then the others. In that regard I struggled as I said to extract what I know I have in me."

Like Vettel, Leclerc was also keen to downplay the team order situation, insisting that it had now been sorted.

"Obviously there was some misunderstanding from the car," he said. "But I think we've had a discussion and everything is clear now.

"Obviously it felt like it was a huge deal from the outside – which it definitely wasn't, but now everything is fine.

"I think that's clear from the beginning of the season, we need to obey team orders and what is clear is that the situation wasn't clear for both of the drivers, starting the race, and I think that's the most important [thing]. So we spoke about it and we'll make sure that this situation doesn't happen again in the future.

"I think as a team it's always a priority to do good for the team but then as [in] every team, Seb wants to beat me, I want to beat him as much. But the priority is to do good for the team, which we all do."

Leclerc stressed that their schedules did not allow them to have a joint conversation with their team boss in Maranello last week.

"No, unfortunately I had some things happening on the day he was in Maranello, so we didn't have the chance to meet-up together – but I had a meeting with Mattia and he had one with Seb the day earlier. Yeah, everything is fine, as I've said."

Ricciardo's legal dispute with ex-advisor settled

Previous article

Ricciardo's legal dispute with ex-advisor settled

Next article

Williams drivers did well to "hide" spares shortage - Kubica

Williams drivers did well to "hide" spares shortage - Kubica
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Charles Leclerc , Sebastian Vettel
Teams Ferrari
Author Adam Cooper
The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes Prime

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes

In the strategy for grand prix racing's future, 2021 represents a significant step towards the goal of closer racing and a more level playing field. That's the theory behind the latest raft of changes, but will they have the desired effect?

Formula 1
Feb 24, 2021
What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch Prime

What Red Bull is trying to hide with its RB16B launch

Red Bull made no secret of the fact its 2021 F1 car is an evolution of its predecessor, but in keeping the same foundations while hiding some tightly-guarded updates with its RB16B, the team aims to avoid suffering the same pitfalls of previous years

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo Prime

How Albon plans to fight his way out of Red Bull limbo

Alex Albon has faced the media for the first time since he lost his Red Bull drive at the end of 2020 and dropped out of a Formula 1 race seat altogether. He has a history of bouncing back from setbacks, so here's what he must do to rise again

Formula 1
Feb 23, 2021
Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates Prime

Ranked! Carlin's greatest F1 graduates

Carlin has helped guide enough drivers to Formula 1 to fill out an entire grid, plus a handful of reserves, to create a remarkable alumni list. With Yuki Tsunoda set to join that group, Motorsport.com has ranked its graduates to grace the grand prix scene...

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans Prime

Why Alfa's 2021 launch says more about its 2022 plans

Alfa Romeo launched its C41 with a revised front nose, but there's little to suggest it will surge up the leaderboard in 2021. As the team frankly admits, it's putting its eggs in the basket labelled 2022 and hoping to hold the eighth place it earned last year

Formula 1
Feb 22, 2021
Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse Prime

Why Gasly’s AlphaTauri haven is a blessing and a curse

Red Bull opted not to re-sign Pierre Gasly even before it decided to drop Alex Albon and so the Frenchman's Formula 1 journey will continue at AlphaTauri. This has positive and negative connotations for one of last season's star performers.

Formula 1
Feb 20, 2021
Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021 Prime

Eight things Red Bull must do to beat Mercedes in 2021

After seven years of defeat at the hands of Mercedes, Red Bull is as hungry as ever to secure a fifth world championship. But there are key challenges it must overcome in 2021 to switch from challenger to conqueror

Formula 1
Feb 19, 2021
How AlphaTauri has adapted to F1's new rules Prime

How AlphaTauri has adapted to F1's new rules

AlphaTauri launched its AT02, complete with a new livery, as it bids to home in on an already-tight midfield battle. Although there were few outright new parts displayed on the launch render, there might be a few clues into further changes down the line…

Formula 1
Feb 19, 2021