Formula 1

Ferrari forced to deny Sebastian Vettel conspiracy theory over his slower car which left F1 driver ‘biting tongue’

FERRARI team boss Mattia Binotti has rubbished Sebastian Vettel’s claim that team-mate Charles Leclerc has a faster car.

The 33-year-old – who will be joining Aston Martin for the 2021 season – made the controversial remark after the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday.

Sebastian Vettel believes his car is slower than Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc’s
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto has rubbished Vettel’s controversial claim

Vettel finished tenth in the race, while Leclerc, 23, just missed out on the podium after coming home in fourth.

The four-time Formula One world champion has finished higher than his less experienced French team-mate in just three of the 12 races in 2020.

And having been told he was no longer wanted by Ferrari earlier this year, Vettel has insisted that he has been left biting his tongue over his car’s performance.

Speaking to RTL after the Algarve race, Vettel said: “On the one hand, I’m satisfied because I had the feeling that I drove a good race.

“I had a hard time at the beginning, lost places, and almost lost the car two or three times. After that I actually drove a good race.

“But, on the other hand, it is obvious that the other car is much faster. Where I lose time? I have been biting my tongue all year long.

“Some idiot might never figure it out, but am I a complete idiot? I doubt it.

“At some point you should be lucky and hit the limit. I never hit it and if I do, then only with a lot of difficulty. On the other side [of the garage] it looks much easier.

“I have to look at myself and do my thing, but of course it hurts. Especially because my own expectations are higher than the expectations from outside.

“I don’t really care about all the fuss. But for me in the car, it is of course difficult to process, because I am too ambitious and too hungry for more.”


But despite Vettel’s claims, Binotti was quick to rubbish the conspiracy theory, as he told Sky Italia: “Seb and Charles’ cars are identical, no doubt.

“I sincerely hope that Sebastian will be able to qualify better in Imola, and show more of what he is capable of during the race.

“Charles is certainly very good, but maybe you expect even more from the second driver.”

Vettel sits in 13th spot in the Formula One World Championship, while Leclerc is fifth thanks to his seven top ten finishes.

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