At a safety car restart prompted by Valtteri Bottas' retirement, Leclerc had the run on Vettel with fresher tyres, but the German fought back on the pit straight, with the aid of DRS.
As the German looked to shut the door on his teammate, their wheels touched, causing a dramatic failure on Leclerc's front right and leaving Vettel with a puncture.
Leclerc told Sky Sports: "I overtook in Turn 1 which I enjoyed this overtake and then in Turn 3, I had to close because I was aware Seb would try again and he did.
"He went around the outside, which there was little space but I left the space, he took [it] and then towards the end of the straight, he started to squeeze me a little bit to the inside and we were very close.
"Everything happened very quick and as soon as he went to the inside, we touched and then I had a puncture.
"I haven't seen Seb yet but I'm pretty sure we are mature enough to put that behind us.
"We feel both of us extremely sorry for the team. This is the end result, both cars didn't finish and that's very disappointing. For the future we'll put that behind and we'll continue to work together."
Vettel's account was lighter on detail, but he too turned thoughts towards the team.
He told Sky: "I didn't have much space on the right and obviously had a better run out of Turn 2 or Turn 3 and I tried to pass, that's it.
"It's a shame for the team. Obviously we didn't finish the race, that has priority."
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