Leclerc begrudgingly accepts Ferrari decision as Vettel hits out at media

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Charles Leclerc has indicated his understanding of Ferrari's use of team orders during the Chinese Grand Prix.

Running line astern in the first stint, the decision was made to draft Sebastian Vettel ahead as the gap to the Mercedes' in front gradually increased.

Once the switch was done though, it was Leclerc who was tracking the German's gearbox and after the race, he demanded the "full picture" of what happened.

“Obviously we had the meeting,” the Monegasque told reporters. “It was not an easy situation. I was obviously struggling with tyres. We both were. But at the time, it just felt like Seb was quicker.

“But obviously being behind me for some laps, he also damaged his tyres, and when he went in front, his tyres were probably also damaged.”

Asked if he was satisfied, the 21-year-old sighed: “Yeah. I mean, yeah.”

This was the third time in as many races that Ferrari has issued an instruction to Leclerc seemingly at the advantage of Vettel.

Only in Bahrain was that order ignored as he overtook the four-time world champion and was very unlucky not to claim victory.

“It’s always difficult to judge. I think what we tried at the time, we tried everything we could not to lose time on the Mercedes ahead,” team boss Mattia Binotto commented.

“That was the only chance that we got at the time. We tried, it didn’t work, but it seemed it was right to give that chance to Seb.

“I think as a team, we did whatever we could.”

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Vettel though was unhappy that the topic of team orders was again dominating the post-race conversation.

“Let’s put it this way, I knew the moment it was happening that I would have to face these questions,” he said.

“I’m not sure I want to answer because I’m a little bit against the way that you, all of you, work because you take bits out of answers here and there and put it into the wrong light.

“So if you ask me again in half an hour in the paddock maybe I’ll give you a straight forward answer and you don’t write it down or record. It seems the way that not maybe all of you but some of you are working.”

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