Sport: Hamilton: Vettel 'clearly not' Ferrari No 1 - PressFrom - Australia

Sport Hamilton: Vettel 'clearly not' Ferrari No 1

20:41  10 october  2019
20:41  10 october  2019 Source:

Vettel, Leclerc play down talk of Ferrari rift

  Vettel, Leclerc play down talk of Ferrari rift Vettel, Leclerc play down talk of Ferrari riftFerrari Formula One team mates Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel played down talk of a rift between them, saying tensions that threatened to boil over at the Russian Grand Prix had cooled.

a man wearing a uniform © Getty

Lewis Hamilton believes Ferrari's Russian GP controversy proved that Sebastian Vettel is "clearly not" their 'number one' driver anymore - but doesn't think the team prioritising Charles Leclerc is a good idea.

Vettel and Leclerc's topsy-turvy first year as team-mates has been one of the most intriguing themes of F1 2019 and their most recent disagreement came in Sochi, when Ferrari asked Vettel to swap places with the young Monegasque, who he had just passed for the lead.

Hamilton felt that team order by Ferrari, which was disobeyed, made it clear that they have now switched their focus to Leclerc, who has more poles and victories than four-time world champion Vettel this season.

Sebastian Vettel takes blame for 'really poor start' in Japan

  Sebastian Vettel takes blame for 'really poor start' in Japan Ferrari had a forgettable first lap, with a frustrated Sebastian Vettel slow off the line and Charles Leclerc hitting Max Verstappen.Ferrari had secured a shock front-row lockout in qualifying, which finished just three hours before the race started on Sunday after Typhoon Hagibis wreaked havoc with the weekend schedule.

"It's an interesting dynamic they have there because obviously Seb was number one and now clearly not," Hamilton told reporters ahead of the Japanese GP.

"From the energy, the outlook, they're trying to ramp Charles up to be.

"Is that good for a team? I don't think so. But that [having a number one] is the philosophy they've had for forever."

Hamilton admitted that it was just an "assumption", but urged Ferrari to find the right way to "manage" the pair and their "friction".

Both drivers cited a miscommunication for the mishap in Sochi - Leclerc moved to the left-hand side of the track to give Vettel the 'tow' to overtake Hamilton, but the German had such a good start that he didn't need that advantage and then darted down the open inside line to pass his team-mate.

F1 2020 calendar and test schedule confirmed

  F1 2020 calendar and test schedule confirmed Formula 1’s 2020 calendar has been officially signed off by the FIA, following a meeting of its World Motor Sport Council on Friday. The 22-race schedule, which is the biggest in F1 history, will begin in Australia on March 15 and conclude in Abu Dhabi on November 29.The two new events being added to the schedule, Vietnam on April 5 and the Dutch GP on May 3, are both subject to their circuits (Hanoi street track and Zandvoort respectively) being officially homologated.

"I understand that working ethic," said Hamilton, citing occasions when he and Valtteri Bottas had worked together to keep other drivers at bay.

He then expanded: "I think Charles said 'I'll let you take the tow' and then didn't move to defend, which he should have done.

"You don't give up the place and expect to get that back. I wouldn't give it back."

Asked if he felt sorry for Vettel, Hamilton added: "I don't know what Seb's feeling... I've not had a team back the other side so much, so heavily, before."

Hamilton reminded of that 2007 seasonThe Englishman then compared the Ferrari situation to his own at McLaren in 2007 when, as a rookie, he partnered up with a multi world champion in Fernando Alonso.

"When I was with Fernando, obviously he was number one but then mid-season they changed that to make it to equal. Then that dynamic shifted.

"There are drivers who always wanted that number one status and it's easier for them.

Why Vettel wasn't penalised for start

  Why Vettel wasn't penalised for start The FIA has explained why Sebastian Vettel's getaway from pole position in the Japanese GP was not met with a jump-start penalty.Vettel's hard-earned and impressive pole, achieved earlier on Sunday at Suzuka, was compromised even before the lights went out in the race when the German rolled forward in his grid box.

I like to earn that. Start on an equal platform, then either of you can get that number one status on that weekend - weekend in, weekend out.

"Rather than [over] the course of the season. If you already know you're number two that's kind of defeatist."

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Pictures: Formula One championship winners over the years

McLaren critical of Ferrari over Leclerc .
McLaren's Andreas Seidl said Ferrari "put everyone else at risk" by not pitting Charles Leclerc immediately after sustaining damage.Stewards punished Leclerc and Ferrari after Sunday's race in Suzuka for staying out on track with a damaged car for two laps beyond the Monegasque's first-lap collision with Max Verstappen.

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