Sebastian Vettel has admitted that he wrongly did not follow Ferrari's order to let himself be overtaken by Charles Leclerc at the Russian Grand Prix.
Ferrari called Vettel three times to let overtake by Leclerc after the safety car phase at the start of the race. Vettel had been allowed to pass Leclerc at the start to ensure that he could overtake Lewis Hamilton, but refused to give the place back to his team-mate.
Vettel, who spoke to German media in Suzuka, did not agree to the terms of the agreement, but admitted that "he got the message on the radio to change places and did not."
"That was certainly not right," added Vettel.
Team boss Mattia Binotto met after the race separately with Vettel and Leclerc. However, Ferrari did not feel the need to "write something in stone" despite the events in Sochi.
"I do not think it's necessary," he said. "Probably [there are] certain things that we could have done better in retrospect. But in the end, we look forward to this race in the next races so I do not worry too much. "
The performance of Ferrari in Russia gives reason to be confident about the remaining races, added Vettel. "I think Russia was, in a way, a very positive weekend as it was the first weekend we really had the pace to win."
"We did not win the race, but in terms of race speed, I think we were a match with Mercedes, sometimes even faster. Although we had very good races in the other races before, I think we benefit in part from our straight-forward speed advantage and the positioning we had after qualifying. Racing like Singapore I think Mercedes was still faster than us in terms of real race pace.
"So I think it was a very positive weekend and we obviously tried to keep that momentum going in the next few races."
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F1 season 2019
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