Poleman Leclerc gave third-place starter Vettel a tow on the run to Turn 2 at the start and did not defend from his teammate as Vettel moved into the lead.

That was part of a pre-race agreement within the team but Vettel appeared to fail to complete his part of the deal by ignoring a team order to let Leclerc back ahead early on.

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After the race, Leclerc insisted he still trusts Vettel, who himself argued he had stuck to what Ferrari agreed pre-race.

Prior to retiring, Vettel had already fallen back behind Leclerc because his teammate had pit early and used his fresh-tyre advantage to close the gap and get ahead when Vettel pit.

It also proved futile in terms of Leclerc’s victory bid because Vettel’s MGU-K failure and stoppage on-track caused a virtual safety car that allowed to make his pitstop during a caution period and retain the lead.

“After five and a half years dominant year, is finally up against an opponent capable of really challenging their supremacy,” said Brawn.

“Adapting to this has not been straightforward but ’s squad has reacted very well.”


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