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'Open warfare at Ferrari' after Vettel refuses to repay Leclerc, says Italian media

'Open warfare at Ferrari' after Vettel refuses to repay Leclerc, says Italian media

F1 News

'Open warfare at Ferrari' after Vettel refuses to repay Leclerc, says Italian media

'Open warfare at Ferrari' after Vettel refuses to repay Leclerc, says Italian media

Italy's motorsports media had been joyous in recent weeks, but a frustrating Russian Grand Prix prompted questions over Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc's relationship, and Mattia Binotto's ability to manage it.

Vettel's refusal to stick to his role in a pre-agreed plan prompted more radio rage for Leclerc after a similar show in Singapore from the Monegasque's cockpit.

With Vettel opting against handing P1 back to Leclerc following a tow off the line, Ferrari took matters into their own hands by leaving Vettel out long enough for Leclerc to undercut him in the pit-stops – only for the German to suffer an engine failure which ended his race and helped Mercedes jump Ferrari to win a race that ought to have been the Scuderia's.

Naturally, the team's native media had plenty to chew over.

How Italy's media reacted to Ferrari's Sochi slip-up

La Stampa: "Mercedes dominated the Russian Grand Prix as in the previous editions, but this time the Ferraris seemed unbeatable for half of the race. A problem with the hybrid system in the 28th of 53 laps forced Sebastian Vettel to retire. What's more, his stop at the edge of the track triggers a virtual safety car that paves the way for the Silver Arrows."

Gazzetta dello Sport: "Not only the defeat makes Ferrari's Sunday in Sochi so bitter. The main problem that Maranello urgently needs to solve is the relationship between its two drivers."

Corriere dello Sport: "Open war between Vettel and Leclerc! Ferrari had hoped for another double victory in Sochi, but Mercedes celebrates. The 'old' Vettel reacts with proud perfectionism to the growing arrogance of the young Leclerc. Leclerc has every right to fight for victory - just as Vettel has the right to hunt for the fifth world title. Less understandable is that Maranello does not enforce the line and cannot prevent a dispute between the drivers."

Tuttosport: "Poisonous mood at Ferrari. The car is fast, but Maranello pays a high price for the divergences between the two drivers. Team Principal Mattia Binotto must finally set a clear strategy."

Corriere della Sera: "After the argument Vettel's engine collapses. So Ferrari gives away the victory. Maranello has problems with the reliability of the car, with the strategy and in dealing with the two drivers. If the relationship between Vettel and Leclerc is already so strained, if it's not about the world title, what's going to happen next year, should Ferrari take the lead?"

La Repubblica: "Vettel makes a great start and uses the team deal in his favour for as long as he can. He proves to have the pace and aggressiveness of a true champion. For Binotto, having two fierce drivers is a luxury. But sometimes this situation does not lead to the desired results."

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