Four-time F1 world champion Sebastian Vettel has remarkably claimed Ferrari has been giving him a different car to teammate Charles Leclerc, earning a public rebuke from team boss Mattia Binotto.
Vettel, who will leave the Italian team after five years with the famous manufacturer, has struggled mightily throughout the 2020 season in a car most F1 pundits consider to be lacking both power and downforce.
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His efforts however, have paled in comparison to teammate Leclerc, with whom Vettel clashed throughout the 2019 season in an increasingly tense pairing.
Those on-track battles are a thing of the past in 2020, with Vettel regularly struggling to qualify in the top 10 or score points.
Leclerc has finished ahead of Vettel in every race this season - eventually prompting the German to make a surprising claim about Ferrari’s engineering after his 10th place finish at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
“On the one hand, I’m satisfied because I had the feeling that I drove a good race,” he told RTL.
“I had a hard time at the beginning, lost places and almost lost the car two or three times. After that I actually drove a good race.
“But, on the other hand, it’s obvious that the other car is much faster. Where do I lose time? I have been biting my tongue all year long.
— Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1) October 24, 2020
“Some idiot might never figure it out, but am I a complete idiot? I doubt it.
“At some point, you should be lucky and hit the limit. I never hit it and, if I do, then only with a lot of difficulty.
“On the other side (of the garage) it looks much easier.”
Ferrari boss hits back at Sebastian Vettel claim
Team boss Mattia Binotto was quick to reinforce that both Ferrari drivers were driving the same machinery, before going on to pile the pressure on Vettel.
“The cars of Seb and Charles are identical, no doubt,” Binotto told Sky Italia.
“I sincerely hope that Sebastian can qualify better at Imola and show more of what he is capable of during the race.
“Charles is very good, but maybe you can expect more from the second driver.”
It’s looking to be an increasingly acrimonious end to Vettel’s tenure at Ferrari, which began with hopes of a championship in 2015 and will end with the German star’s departure to Racing Point, which will rebrand as Aston Martin next season.
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