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How Vettel v Leclerc has descended into Ferrari nightmare in 2019

How Vettel v Leclerc has descended into Ferrari nightmare in 2019

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How Vettel v Leclerc has descended into Ferrari nightmare in 2019

How Vettel v Leclerc has descended into Ferrari nightmare in 2019

With one of Formula 1's most exciting newcomers in one car and most decorated champions in the other, the battle between Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel was always likely to be one to watch in 2019.

Team principal Mattia Binotto said in pre-season that Vettel would have "priority", prompting fears that Leclerc's performances may be suppressed.

However, the Monegasque has swiftly undone that with a string of superb performance, including a run of nine straight qualifying 'victories' against his four-time world champion.

Friction has grown between the pair, and a series of on-track incidents have pockmarked their partnership. Here we run down the episodes of Ferrari's drama-filled 2019.

Bahrain GP: Leclerc ignores team orders

Having obeyed Ferrari's instruction to remain behind Vettel in Australia in a battle for fourth, he had no interest in doing likewise with P1 on the line in Sakhir.

Leclerc blasted past Vettel, seconds after being told to wait behind for two laps and would have gone on to take his maiden grand prix victory, but for a late-race engine failure, which opened the door for Mercedes.

Chinese GP: Leclerc moved aside, but Vettel can't catch Mercedes

With Ferrari struggling to find pace early in the campaign, desperation was starting to set in as Mercedes looked to be pulling clear in the title fight.

Leclerc was ahead of Vettel, but struggling to take the fight to the Silver Arrows, prompting Ferrari to swap the drivers. Eyebrows were raised when the deficit only grew as Vettel tried to chase down Mercedes, but Ferrari did not swap the drivers back.

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