Brawn warns Binotto as Vettel/Leclerc relationship tipped to 'break'

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Formula 1 motorsport director Ross Brawn warns Ferrari has a tough task handling Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc post-Sochi.

The situation between the two drivers is heating up again after a pre-race agreement when awry during the Russian GP as Vettel refused to allow Leclerc back past having been given the tow to Turn 2 at the start.

While some have argued why Ferrari even needed to instigate such a plan, it is the repercussions that the Italian team face going forward that Brawn is worried about.

"Mattia Binotto will have work to do in the next few days to pour oil on what seem like turbulent waters," he said post-race referring to the Ferrari team boss.

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"On the one hand, they have a four-time world champion who is still one of the finest drivers on the grid, despite a few too many mistakes over the past two seasons.

"And on the other, they have an incredible talent in Charles Leclerc – after all you don’t take six poles, including four in a row, and win two races at legendary circuits such as Spa and Monza if you’re not a star in the making.

"It’s a potentially explosive combination and needs careful handling."

While all efforts publicly are being made to put up a united front, it was the radio calls from the Monegasque which again appeared to show the real situation as he called out Vettel for not living up to his end of the deal.

“I think there are some things that should not be said on the radio because at the end it would not have changed our decision, or it will only somehow increase the excitement of the race itself,” Binotto said to Channel 4.

“There are times to say something and times not to say. I think in that respect he knows that he has to learn and the fact that he apologized means he understood.”

Watching closely is Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko, who knows Vettel better than most, and he believes a tipping point is coming.

“It will be interesting to see what happens. There is a damn fast and reluctant kid standing in line,” he told Austrian newspaper Osterreich.

“Both Vettel and Leclerc are still very respectful to each other at the moment, but in the end, this balance will break.

“Maybe it will only happen next year, but we want to be there in the fight because it will be a really exciting situation.”

Another reason why Marko feels the situation is blowing up again now is due to a rejuvenated Vettel.

“In Singapore, he wasn’t just lucky with the pit stop,” he insisted.

“He did a great lap and worked well under pressure. Sebastian sniffed his chance and used it, proving he is still a true champion.”

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