Vettel nor Hamilton expecting teammate assistance in Australia

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Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton expect to start the new Formula 1 season on an equal footing with their teammates.

The topic of team orders has been regularly raised after Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto suggested Vettel could be "prioritised" over Charles Leclerc in certain situations.

However, the German played down that claim believing it was wrong to start considering hypotheticals.

“I don’t think there’s much point going into certain situations," he said in Thursday's press conference in Australia. “I think it’s very clear and I think Mattia also made it very clear we are free to race each other.


"Charles will do his best to help himself, to help the team and that’s the same for me, I’ll do the best to help myself and to help the team.

“In the end, we are racing for Ferrari and that means we will try to get Ferrari back to where we’ve been trying to get it back to the last couple of years," Vettel noted.

"That’s the main priority and the rest, it’s a long long season and I think it’s a bit pointless at this point to start pointing out certain scenarios.”

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 Also, at Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas has already indicated he may not be so submissive to Hamilton having played a 'wingman' role during last season.

“We’re free to race like every single year,” Hamilton confirmed. “That was said at the beginning when we were back at the factory and it’s repeated today and that’s how I like it.

"It means we both have a fair shot. It’s been the same every single year, it is only to a point where one driver doesn’t win the championship any more things shift, but generally, we’re always free to race.”