Sebastian Vettel says he can sympathise with Ferrari Formula 1 teammate Charles Leclerc’s frustrations over team radio during the Singapore Grand Prix.

Leclerc was left fuming over Ferrari’s strategy that enabled Vettel to undercut the polesitter and claim his first victory in over a year, denying the Monegasque a third consecutive win in the process.

Ahead of this weekend’s Russian Grand Prix, Leclerc admitted he had overreacted amid his frustration and said he wants to avoid a repeat in future races.

Asked if he was upset with Leclerc’s reaction given he played a key role in his teammate’s victory at Spa two races before, Vettel replied: “No not at all.

“I don’t think that you should interpret too much into these messages because we are driving when we are opening the radio and I think if you would do the same exercise with any footballer or even a golfer, you’d be surprised.

“There’s no point trying to understand a reason behind everything that people say when they are in the moment. I think it’s pretty normal and obviously he wanted to win.

“He was upset when he realised he was behind, which if it was the other way around I probably would have been equally as upset.

“It’s part of the emotions that run through you when you are racing. If they weren’t then it would mean that you don’t care and I don’t think that there’s many drivers who don’t care.”

Vettel also revealed he talked with Leclerc after the race and insisted the story will not turn “nasty” between the drivers.

“I spoke with him, I didn’t speak much about the race,” he said. “I don’t think the undercut story will become nasty, answering all your questions.

“I don’t think there is much to elaborate, we did the race, it was clear what happened. Charles is challenging myself, I’m challenging him.

“There’s only one space on the top step, if you fight for the victory, ultimately you’re not as pleased as the other guy if one takes first and one takes second, that’s the nature of our sport.”

Fellow multiple world champion Lewis Hamilton was also asked for comment, and the Briton said while he can understand Leclerc’s eagerness to win, it’s important he remembers the “fortunate” opportunity he has at Ferrari.

“I can just talk from personal experience and I understand what it’s like, but also you have just got to remember your position,” he explained.

“If I was to speak to myself as a youngster, I was quite outspoken when I probably didn’t need to be but that’s just how I was because I was fiercely competitive.

“But you’ve got to be grateful for being given the opportunity to even win races in a top team, I don’t think anyone has gone from their first year to Ferrari in their second year.

“That’s an incredible fortunate position to be in and it’s just remembering your place. I wish that I knew that more when I was 22.

“I got to be in a top team against a two-time world champion and having the opportunity at winning races and I was trying to win every race.

“So you can’t be excused from that because it’s part of your DNA but second is still pretty awesome.”

 

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