Leclerc: Second in Austrian GP "like a victory" for Ferrari


"There is still some silence in some cases, but I think it's also part of a dialogue and trying to understand as I still think there's people that don't fully understand what's happening and the reason for the protest, so I continue to try and be that guider and influence as many people as I can with it".

This will be Vettel's 102nd race for Scuderia Ferrari. That didn't change our position, so Seb was our first choice.

Vettel said he would obey team orders this season if asked to let Leclerc past, but he had no intention of reigning in his competitive edge.

However, ahead of the first race of the season this weekend in Austria, Vettel revealed that no contract negotiations had taken place and that he was not aware of any issues with the team before he got the phone call from Binotto.

Long run. In the final 30 minutes, the team began working in race configuration to do some long runs. I think with the track getting a bit hotter, it was a bit more costly for us today.

The Monegasque was on pole at the Red Bull Ring past year but this time qualified seventh, his quickest flying lap almost a second slower than Valtteri Bottas who took the top slot for Mercedes.

Unlike two-time champion Fernando Alonso, who is open to an F1 return next season after quitting following the 2018 campaign, Vettel said his possible exit from the sport wouldn't be temporary.

"It's really a shame, but now we need to understand why the vehicle was not behaving".

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"Tomorrow is a different picture", Vettel said.

And then there is a lot of stuff going on behind that, and it's very tight.

"It was a disappointing race for me, even if we knew beforehand it would be tough", said Vettel of his afternoon.

"We thought we had a little bit more in hand, but it looks like the others were probably running a bit more fuel and were a bit more conservative in practice".

It's up to us to develop and work so that the auto gets faster.

Binotto insisted: "We compare ourselves with the competition, not with the previous year". "So it's a mix of all these things". "I will not take the knee but this does not mean at all that I am less committed than others in the fight against racism", Leclerc wrote in another tweet.

"I would rate this as one of my best races since I arrived in F1 because I didn't do any mistakes", he concluded. The balance of the auto is not that bad, we need to catch up in terms of overall performance.

"Unfortunately that's where we are at the moment, but we need to stay positive in these moments that are very hard to find any positives", said Leclerc.