Leclerc rules out team orders, pledges controlled Ferrari aggression

<i> Image: Toshifumi KITAMURA / AFP </i>
<i> Image: Toshifumi KITAMURA / AFP </i>
Toshifumi KITAMURA

Ferrari's battling drivers have pledged to control their aggression after crashing into each other in Brazil, Charles Leclerc said on Thursday but he also insisted that team orders would not be imposed.

The Monegasque said that he and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel should be less aggressive and try to avoid another similar collision in the future.

The pair were summoned to 'clear-the-air' talks last week at Ferrari's Maranello headquarters where they analysed the accident and reflected on the conclusions.

"We looked at it and I particularly looked at it, obviously, to try and understand how we could have made things better," said Leclerc during a scheduled news conference ahead of Sunday's season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

"I think it was very unfortunate -- firstly because the touch was extremely small and had a big drama after that. So that was a little bit unlucky.

"As a team, I think we probably should try to be a bit less aggressive between each other for these things to not happen again.

"For the team it is not good. For everyone that is supporting us, it's not good. So we need to try for it to not happen again."

Leclerc added that he did not believe that Ferrari would consider imposing team orders to stop them racing each other for position.

"I think this will not change," he said. "We will be able to race together. Obviously, Seb and myself are very competitive.

"We both want to win, but also we need to find the right compromise. We are also racing for the same team.

"Apart from that, I don't think there's much we can do. As I said, the consequences were huge in the last race. If you look back at the contact, it was very, very small.

"It was unfortunate, but again we will make sure it doesn't happen again. I think Seb should not 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 responsibility.

"I think the most important is that everything is clear. We have sat down and we move forward."

Vettel was not at the news conference, having been granted leave of absence following the birth of his third child, a son. He is due at the circuit on Friday morning ahead of opening practice.

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