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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

F1 News

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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Spanish GP: Team orders hits farcical level

Mercedes had set a record for the most dominant start to a Formula 1 season, with four consecutive one-twos, in the previous race in Baku and Ferrari were floundering.

At different stages of the Barcelona race, both Leclerc and Vettel were given team orders to benefit the other. In the end, neither red car was on the podium and the Silver Arrows had another one-two.

Italian GP: Leclerc plays the quali game

Vettel towed Leclerc onto provisional pole at Monza, perhaps happily safe in the knowledge that Leclerc was due to return the favour in the second set of runs in Q3.

However, the desperate search for a slipstream led to farcical circumstances and Leclerc perhaps cheekily took advantage, doing little to clear up the chaos, failing to give Vettel a tow and, in the process, securing pole for himself.

Singapore GP: Ferrari undercut Charles with Seb

Having won from pole in Belgium and Italy, Leclerc was on a roll with a third qualifying win in succession arriving in Singapore thanks to Ferrari's aerodynamic upgrade.

Ferrari's strategy hasn't always been at its sharpest, but Vettel was sprung from P3 to the lead of the race by a perfectly timed undercut. The only issue – it was at the cost of his team-mate, who was left thoroughly unimpressed as Vettel was allowed to keep the win by the team.

Russian GP: Vettel's payback, before race falls apart

Much like the pre-arranged plan for Monza qualifying, Ferrari once again plotted after Leclerc took pole in Russia, with Vettel in third behind Lewis Hamilton.

Leclerc would tow Vettel past the Mercedes, and possibly into the lead, but Vettel would give the place back, right? Wrong. Vettel bolted clear, prompting messages back and forth between the team and both drivers.

Ferrari seemed to have taken matters into their own hands, leaving Vettel out on worn tyres, before pitting him once Leclerc had closed the pit window – only for disaster to strike, Vettel suffering engine failure, and Mercedes jumping Leclerc under the consequent safety car.

Brazilian GP: The crash

With scrutiny now coming on Ferrari over the legality of their power unit, Vettel and Leclerc had put up a united front in defending the team's practices.

However, Interlagos saw them sink to new lows, Vettel and Leclerc touching on the back straight, eliminating both from the race and prompting Binotto to summon both to Maranello to explain themselves.

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