Sebastian Vettel’s win leaves Ferrari teammate frustrated
Sebastian Vettel won his first Grand Prix of the season in Singapore on Sunday, but his victory was not without controversy.
The German, who had started in third, benefited from a strange Ferrari strategy which saw him leapfrog teammate Charles Leclerc, who had begun in pole position.
The move angered the 21-year-old — and he made his feelings known.
“I don’t understand the undercut at all. But we discuss it later,” Leclerc fired over the team radio.
The issue concerned the team’s decision to pit Vettel early, which allowed him to get ahead of his teammate as Leclerc emerged from a pit stop a lap later.
For Vettel, though, it was a much needed win after a difficult year for the four-time world champion who has been plagued with bad luck and prone to sloppy mistakes.
“I’m very happy. It was a great race. First of all big congratulations to the team,” said Vettel, who said he was surprised to come out ahead of the field.
“The start of the season has been difficult for us, then we started to come alive and I’m really proud of everyone’s work back home.”
Despite the race doing no favors for team cohesion, Ferrari can enjoy its first one-two since 2017.
There were, however, no huge celebrations between its two drivers after the race with Leclerc still visibly frustrated with how it ended.
The young driver managed to keep his emotions in check during the podium ceremony and offered a pragmatic answer to the world’s media.
“We came here hoping for a podium and came away with a one-two,” said Leclerc.
“I’m disappointed for me but I will come back stronger.
“The strategy was fixed at the beginning (and) I stuck to the plan, the most important (thing) was that we finished one-two.”
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished third ahead of Lewis Hamilton but the Briton is still clear at the top of the title race with 296 points. Valtteri Bottas is his closest rival, albeit 65 points behind.
Leclerc and Verstappen are both tied on points in third, 32 points further adrift.