Ferrari admit feud for thought with Vettel and Leclerc

<i> Image: AFP / Andrej Isakovic </i>
<i> Image: AFP / Andrej Isakovic </i>
Andrej Isakovic

Ferrari team chief Mattia Binotto admitted his team have to be more precise with their pre-race instructions to their drivers following a radio feud over team orders in Sunday's Russian Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc started from pole position and gave Sebastian Vettel a slip-steam that saw the German take the lead - and then refuse to give it back to the Monegasque.

When the four-time champion pulled up and retired with an engine failure on lap 28, causing deployment of a Safety Car intervention, Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton grabbed the lead and went on to score the 82nd victory of his career.

"We had asked Charles to grant Seb the slip-stream because it was the best scenario to be first and second at the first corner," said Binotto.

"But maybe we have to be more precise before the races. We will talk to them to review what happened at the start."

Leclerc complained vigorously on the team radio as Vettel pulled clear and made it virtually impossible for them to swap positions as they sought to take advantage of running on soft tyres while Mercedes were on mediums in the opening laps.

"After today we will be even more aggressive," added Binotto.

"This third place hurts us also because is the result of our mistakes."

Leclerc finished third behind Hamilton and his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Binotto added that he had no issues about Vettel's decision to push hard after taking the lead.

"Seb was very fast and we were very happy for him," he said.

"I think that today his race was perfect. If he didn't have to retire, we would have held second place."

But to win, he said, "we had to be perfect - and we haven't been perfect today."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
How should Haas' new driver Nikita Mazepin be punished for his awful behaviour?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
He should be removed from the team
48% - 376 votes
The FIA should give him a hefty fine.
12% - 97 votes
Won't matter, Dad's money will always save him.
40% - 313 votes