Charles Leclerc says the air has been cleared with Sebastian Vettel after the pair both took some responsibility for their parts in the contact that occurred during the Brazilian Grand Prix.
The two Ferrari drivers collided late in the race at Interlagos as Vettel was trying to retake a position from Leclerc after his teammate had passed him into Turn 1. With the contact forcing both to retire, team principal Mattia Binotto said the incident would be discussed back in Maranello before this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Leclerc says both drivers have taken some of the blame.
“We looked at it — and I particularly looked at it, obviously to try and understand how we could have made things better,” Leclerc said. “I think it was very unfortunate first of all, because the touch was extremely small and it had a big drama after that. So that was a little bit unlucky.
“But as a team, I think we probably should try and 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 that is supporting us, it’s not good, so we’ll try for it to not happen again.
“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. Both of us have a bit of responsibility, but I think the most important is that everything is clear with Seb now, and we move forward.”
Vettel was originally scheduled to be speaking alongside Leclerc during the Thursday driver press conference in Abu Dhabi but delayed his arrival following the birth of his third child. Fielding all of the questions on the topic, Leclerc says he remains free to fight with Vettel on track even if they need to avoid repeat incidents.
“I think this doesn’t change — we’ll 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 racing for the same team. As I said earlier, we need to be less aggressive towards each other, give a little bit more space for these things to not happen again.
“Apart from that, I don’t think there is much that we can do. As I said, the consequences were huge in the last race, but if you look back in the contact, it was very, very small. It was unfortunate, but we’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.”