Charles Leclerc says he does not want to rely on team orders to win him the F1 World Championship, despite Red Bull having "made their intentions clear" at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Red Bull asked Sergio Perez not to fight Max Verstappen for the win during the latter stages of the race in Barcelona. Perez responded by telling his team that he felt their request was "unfair", but obliged in moving aside to help his teammate to victory.
The squad's decision to prevent Perez from battling for the win has signalled their clear intentions to favour Verstappen, Leclerc believes, and he has suggested that Ferrari have no plans to follow suit.
Leclerc has not spoken to Ferrari about team orders
Despite counting a 45-point lead over Carlos Sainz after just six races, Leclerc says he will not be calling on Ferrari to demote his teammate to a number two driver.
"I will definitely not be the one making those types of decisions," he told RacingNews365.com.
"Red Bull have made it clear, what are their intentions. And they did it very early in the season.
"Concerning us, I haven't spoken about it with Mattia, and I haven't heard anything about it."
Leclerc hopes that he can achieve what he needs to without the assistance of team orders.
"I don't want to rely on that either," he added.
"I just want to do the job in the car. We have already shown that we can win races anyway and, if we do a strong enough job, then I'm pretty sure that the chances are there anyway."
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Sainz will find form, Leclerc is adamant
While Perez has found himself in a position to help Verstappen to a race win, Sainz is yet to match the heights of high-flying Leclerc. That will change, according to Leclerc, who is adamant that the best of Sainz is yet to shine through.
"It doesn't concern me because I know that Carlos will be back very, very quickly," he stated.
"I mean, he's a very, very strong driver and he's been struggling maybe a little bit more to adapt to this car. It fitted a little bit better my driving style maybe, at the beginning.
"I'm pretty sure Carlos will be in the fight very, very soon and, in the end, it's up to me to do the right job and to bring Ferrari on top."
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RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the Spanish Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen won a thrilling race after Charles Leclerc retired. But was the on-track action soured by a poor fan experience at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya?