Vettel's Bahrain GP compromised by 'ruthless' Leclerc move

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Sebastian Vettel says his Bahrain Grand Prix was compromised by having to avoid a "ruthless" Charles Leclerc at Turn 1.

The four-time world champion was furious on the radio, comparing the Monegasque's late-braking move to the second race in Austria, where Leclerc wiped out his teammate at Turn 3.

Vettel then went on to suggest another crash would have been a "better option" and, post-race, explained how it left him trailing down the field.

“I took extra care for Charles who I think was maybe a bit ruthless, but after that, it was probably a lost fight from there,” he said via

“I don’t know, the first stint was really poor; obviously at the start, I think I lost a lot of ground because I got squeezed [by Leclerc]. I took extra care for the other car, and then I was compromised a lot, lost positions."

Giving his view on the move, Leclerc said: "On my side, the only thing I can say is that surely it was extremely tight.

"But on the other hand, unlike in the Styrian Grand Prix where I didn't put myself in a visible place, this time I tried for him to see me.

"There was a very little gap, I went for it and I made sure that he saw me. You could argue there was probably not enough gap between our cars, being in the same team."

Later though, Vettel, who finished 13th, was keen to put the minor incident behind them.

"We don't need to make a big deal out of it," he stated.

"It was tight. I believe if you have three cars in the first corner at times it works, but most of the time it doesn't. We spoke about it, we move on, no big deal."

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Indeed, after the Turn 1 scuffle, a spin for Vettel in the early laps dropped him to 18th, further adding to his woes.

“The hard tyres never seemed to work, so yeah, after that it was not too bad but we were nowhere and there wasn’t much to recover,” he said.

“I think in free air, in the end, it was not so bad - after the first change in tyres, it was OK, but the first set just never seemed to start working, so it was very difficult."

On Leclerc's side, he was running as high as seventh at one stage, before quickly dropping back as Ferrari's lack of top speed made him a sitting duck down the straights.

“A very good start on both starts; unfortunately we had to drop back for the second start for some reason – I don’t know yet why – and we need to look at this,” he said.

“Starting P12, I was in a very good place after Lap 1, but after that, we were not quick enough,” the Monegasque, who eventually finished 10th, concluded.