Vettel claims 'it's obvious' Leclerc's car is faster, Ferrari responds

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Sebastian Vettel believes "it's obvious" Ferrari is giving Charles Leclerc a faster car after the Portuguese Grand Prix.

While the Monegasque qualified fourth and finished fourth at Portimao, the four-time world champion was almost a second slower in qualifying, finishing 15th, and managed to move up to P10 in the race.

Reflecting on his weekend to German broadcaster RTL, Vettel's frustration appeared at a new high as he let rip on the situation in the Scuderia.

"On the one hand, I'm satisfied because I had the feeling that I drove a good race," he said.

"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.

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"But, on the other hand, it is obvious that the other car is much faster," Seb declared. "Where do I lose time? I have been biting my tongue all year long. 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.

"I have to look at myself and do my thing, but of course it hurts. Especially because my own expectations are higher than the expectations from outside.

"I don't really care about all the fuss, but for me in the car, it is of course difficult to process, because I am too ambitious and too hungry for more."

Responding to Vettel's comments though, Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto made it clear...

"Seb and Charles' cars are identical, no doubt," he told Sky Italia. "I sincerely hope that Sebastian will be able to qualify better in Imola and show more of what he is capable of during the race.

"Charles is certainly very good, but maybe you expect even more from the second driver."

20023 scuderia ferrari portuguese gp friday

Perhaps after a word in his ear, Vettel then reluctantly backed down somewhat.

“Well I think I have to think that we have the same car,” he said.

“I trust the people around me and in the garage.

“I have one thing that is obviously told by the stopwatch and the lap times, and the other one is by my feeling.

“Feeling-wise, I really struggle to get the good laps together, be consistent and feel the grip that maybe Charles is able to feel, so I’m working on it.

“But there’s nothing else other than work that will get me out of it.”