Sebastian Vettel says he is not focusing on beating Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc in the final drivers’ standings for 2019, instead doing everything he can to try and finish the season as strongly as possible.

Vettel currently sits fifth in the drivers’ championship, 19 points behind Leclerc in third following an impressive debut season in Ferrari colours from the Monegasque youngster. Max Verstappen splits the pair in P4, 14 points off Leclerc.

Were Vettel to finish behind Leclerc at the season’s end, it would mark only the second time in his F1 career he has been beaten across a full campaign by a teammate – the other coming in 2014 when he finished behind Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull.

Vettel and Leclerc have experienced some tense moments on-track this year, played up in some quarters as a battle for supremacy at Ferrari that will ultimately be settled in the final standings.

But Vettel did not see it that way entering the final two races of the year, saying that his focus is on trying to fight for P3, not specifically Leclerc.

“To be honest, it’s not so important to finish in front of Charles. I think it’s more important to finish as high up as you can,” Vettel said.

“Obviously places one and two are out of reach, and obviously the third one is the one I guess him, Max and myself are aiming for.

“For me it’s quite important to make sure I do everything I can to score as many points as I need or as many points as I can, and see where I am at.

“I think what the team deserves as well, to finish the season in style, and we try to have two great races from here onwards.”

Additional reporting by Julianne Cerasoli.



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