Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc says he and Sebastian Vettel share responsibility for their race-ending clash at Interlagos.
Charles Leclerc faced the press in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, having been scheduled to appear alongside Sebastian Vettel at the press conference. However, Vettel was excused from media duties as he stayed in Europe for the birth of his third child. As a result, it was left to Leclerc to field questions about the Brazilian clash.
Leclerc and Vettel had been fighting over P4 in the closing stages of the Brazilian Grand Prix when the two made contact with their wheels as Vettel seemed to move over on Leclerc as he passed the sister Ferrari. Both suffered punctures and extensive damage, and were eliminated on the spot.
Leclerc says he and Vettel have sat down and talked about it back at Maranello: “We called with Seb and we tried to understand both of our situations. 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 yeah, both of us have a bit of responsibility, but the most important thing is that everything is clear with Seb and we move forward.”
Having had a sit-down meeting at Maranello between the two drivers and team boss Mattia Binotto, Leclerc said there needs to be less aggression between him and Vettel: “Yeah, we looked at it and I particularly looked at it, obviously, to try to understand how we could have made the things better. I think it was very unfortunate, first of all, because the touch was extremely small and it had a big drama after that, and that was a bit unlucky. But as a team we should probably try to be a bit less aggressive in between each other, for these things to not happen again. For the team it’s not good. For everyone supporting us it’s not good, so we will try for it to not happen again.”
As for whether there has been any calls from above to restrict the two from racing each other again, Leclerc said this isn’t the case: “We will be able to race together. 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. As I said earlier, we need to be lees aggressive towards each other and give us a little bit more space for these things to not happen again. Of what I know, that’s the only thing that will happen for the next races, but maybe Mattia can go a bit further into that. Apart from that, I don’t think there is much we can do. Obviously, as I said, the consequences were huge in the last race but if you look back at the contact it was very, very small. It was unfortunate but we will make sure it doesn’t happen again.”