ABU DHABI — Charles Leclerc has vowed to be less aggressive when racing Sebastian Vettel, but says he and his Ferrari teammate will not face sanctions if they clash again on track.
Leclerc and Vettel both retired from the Brazilian Grand Prix after colliding while fighting for fourth position. The incident saw the two drivers touch wheels on the straight after Vettel, who had been passed by Leclerc in the previous set of corners, attempted to squeeze his teammate towards the inside of the track as he came back past.
Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto said the incident would be analysed once the team had returned to Italy and in his first media appearance since Brazil, Leclerc revealed they both took part of the blame.
“We called with Seb, and we tried to understand both of our situations,” he said. “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.”
Asked if the threat of financial sanctions or team orders would be put in place to stop the drivers doing the same again, Leclerc said there would be no major changes to the situation prior to the incident.
“I think this doesn’t change, we’ll be able to race together,” he added. “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.
“We need to be less aggressive towards each other, give a little bit more space for these things to not happen again. Of what I know, it’s the only thing that will happen for the next races, but maybe Mattia can go a bit further into that.
“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.”
Vettel did not attend Thursday’s media day in Abu Dhabi due to the recent birth of his third child.