Sebastian Vettel admits he was wrong to ignore Ferrari orders amid Charles Leclerc verdict

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Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc

Sebastian Vettel has admitted it was ‘not right’ that he ignored a radio message (Image: GETTY/PA)

Sebastian Vettel has admitted it was “not right” that he ignored the radio message from Ferrari to change places with Charles Leclerc at the Russian Grand Prix.

Ferrari had a strong qualifying session at Sochi with Leclerc taking pole position and Vettel taking third, with the duo being split up by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

As part of a pre-race plan Leclerc gave Vettel a tow into Turn 2 at the start of the race and the Monegasque driver also did not challenge his team-mate when he went on to take the lead.

However, as the race continued Vettel did not relinquish his position back to Leclerc, which led to several frustrated radio messages from the younger driver.

I got the message at the radio to change the place, and I did not do it and that was certainly not right

Sebastian Vettel

Leclerc went into a tirade about Vettel’s behaviour, that in turn saw Ferrari give orders to the four-time F1 world champion to give up the position, which he ignored.

After the race the pair held a meeting with Ferrerai team principal Mattia Binotto, although Vettel has played down the importance of these talks.

“Generally, everything is clear,” said Vettel. “Of course you talk to each other.

“There was a conversation, but there were also other conversations. I wouldn’t make such a fuss around the whole story.

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel did not relinquish his position back to Charles Leclerc in Russia (Image: REUTERS)

“I think there were positive things in Russia as well. For the first time this year we had very, very good pace in the race to hold up against Mercedes.

“In the other races we might have been in front here and there, but in general we were a bit slower. So there are positive and not so positive things.

“On my side, I can’t be satisfied with that. What agreement there was or wasn’t, or who is right and who isn’t, is perhaps not so important.

“But of course I got the message at the radio to change the place, and I did not do it. And that was certainly not right.”

Meanwhile, as the Formula One drivers prepare to take on the Suzuka circuit this weekend, all the teams are preparing to deal with the effects of Typhoon Hagibis.

It remains a category 5 Super Typhoon and could cause havoc at the Suzuka circuit this weekend as it is predicted to bring with it winds of up to 110mph and flooding rainfall, when it makes landfall in Japan on Saturday.

And as a result of safety concerns F1 chiefs have decided to move qualifying to Sunday and it is now scheduled to take place four hours before the race begins.

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