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Frederic Vasseur

Vasseur shuts down Leclerc-Sainz tension after Spanish row

The Ferrari drivers had a minor disagreement over early race strategy in the Spanish Grand Prix.

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Frederic Vasseur has moved to soothe tensions between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz after his Ferrari drivers had a misunderstanding in the Spanish Grand Prix. 

At Turn 1 on Lap 3, Sainz, running in sixth, used the DRS to pass fifth-placed Leclerc, barging past, with the Monegasque under the impression that both cars were meant to be in tyre-saving mode in the early laps. 

Both Ferraris were on new soft tyres compared to the used ones on Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes in fourth, with Sainz keen to make early progress. 

Hamilton would eventually go onto finish third with Leclerc fifth and Sainz sixth, after the home favourite waved his team-mate through in the closing stages to try and attack George Russell. 

Leclerc fell 0.489s short of passing Russell at the flag and labelled Sainz's attack "a shame."

In response, Sainz hit back, saying Leclerc "complains too much" after races, with team principal Vasseur keen to diffuse the situation.

"I think you can find 10 examples or circumstances in the race where we [lost] half a second," Vasseur told media including RacingNews365.

"Carlos let [Leclerc] go very easily later on, and we missed a couple of tenths for two or three laps. 

"Let us discuss it and not draw conclusions from the first comments of the driver when he jumps out of the car."

On-going relationship

Sainz and Leclerc's four-year tenure as Ferrari team-mates will come to a close at the end of the season, with Hamilton set to partner Leclerc next season. 

Vasseur was also asked to address the relationship between his two current drivers - and he heaped praise on their ability to work together.

"Out of the car, they have a very good relationship, good mutual trust and they are racers," he said.

"For sure you can have this kind of case, but I know perfectly that from this situation, we are getting a lot. 

"Last year, we recovered because we had this situation between them and this competition all over the season.

"Sometimes, what happened, happens and it is part of the game."

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