Charles Leclerc says his relationship with Ferrari Formula 1 teammate Sebastian Vettel has not changed following an incident during qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix.

Following the session - in which Leclerc landed pole position and Vettel could only manage fourth place on the grid for the Scuderia’s home race - the German suggested that his younger teammate had not followed Ferrari’s pre-qualifying agreement during their final runs of Q3.

Vettel had towed Leclerc on his way to setting the fastest time of qualifying on the first runs, and Leclerc was due to repay the favour in the closing moments of the session, but farcical scenes resulted in most drivers running out of time to set a final flying lap.

Leclerc, who went on to convert pole into victory to score Ferrari’s first win at Monza since 2010, insisted his failure to provide Vettel with a slipstream was not intentional.

“I don’t think it changed [our relationship],” Leclerc said when he addressed the media ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix.

“Obviously after Saturday there were some doubts about what I did but I explained myself and since then everything was fine.

“I’ve been completely honest and I’m always honest but there was nothing done wanted in Monza - It was a very tricky situation at the beginning of the lap with the big mess.

“It made us quite late to go to the finish line but there was definitely no want from me to sacrifice Seb’s second lap or whatever.”

Asked if he feels his two consecutive victories at Spa and Monza has changed Ferrari’s stance on its driver ranking within the team, Leclerc replied: “I’ve never felt that way. I think overall the team inside of it… I don’t know if from the outside if it looks different… but from the inside it’s very balanced.

“There have been situations in the past where I’ve helped Sebastian, some others where he has helped me. I think that’s the way forward for the team. I think the team is doing everything for it’s benefit and I think that is the most important thing.

“We are here to perform at our best, which is what we try to do, but at the end I’m very happy with how the team is at the moment.

“I think to be a team player always pays off at the end of the day,” he added. “The team is doing everything for us and if you have one driver who is an egotist and just looks at himself, it’s not great.

“Then there might be some situations where you have to look at yourself but I think you just need to find the right balance.”

 

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