Ferrari star Leclerc vows no repeat of Vettel crash

By Sports Desk January 13, 2020

Charles Leclerc has vowed there will be no repeat of the incident that saw him crash with Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel in Brazil.

The pair collided in the penultimate grand prix of the 2019 Formula One season as their long-running rivalry came to a head in an embarrassing incident for the Scuderia, with both drivers forced to retire.

Team principal Mattia Binotto insisted the air had been cleared and Leclerc ​– who in December signed fresh terms until 2024 – is confident the pair can use their competitive nature to positive effect this season.

"We are extremely competitive and sometimes on track we might have some frictions," Leclerc told Autosport.

"But in the end we are mature enough to know that what happened on track is on track and off it we are different.

"The most important thing is we work together well off track to develop the car in the best way possible and of course not exceed the limits when we are on track like we have seen in Brazil.

"But I think it was a good lesson for both of us and it won't happen again."

Leclerc, 10 years Vettel's junior, finished 24 points ahead of his team-mate in the standings last season.

Related items

  • Messi and Liverpool among the big-name nominees at Laureus World Sports Awards Messi and Liverpool among the big-name nominees at Laureus World Sports Awards

    Lionel Messi and Liverpool are among the front-runners for prizes at the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin on Monday.

    Liverpool are up for two gongs after a wonderful year, as they won the 2018-19 Champions League and took a massive leap towards a first top-flight title in 30 years.

    Jurgen Klopp's side look set to break a host of records this season, as they have dropped points in just one of their 25 matches and hold a remarkable 22-point lead over defending champions Manchester City in second.

    The Reds are in the running for two prizes in the Laureus Sports Awards' 20th anniversary gala – World Team of the Year and Comeback of the Year, the latter on account of their astonishing Champions League semi-final turnaround at the expense of Barcelona.

    Among those challenging Liverpool for the former are the United States' Women's football team and the Toronto Raptors, who became the first Canadian franchise win an NBA championship.

    A selection of sporting superstars are up for the Sportsman of the Year award, with Barcelona and Argentina icon Lionel Messi among them following his record-breaking sixth Ballon d'Or.

    Also in the running is Eliud Kipchoge after the Kenyan became the first athlete to run a marathon in under two hours last October, covering the 26.2 miles in one hour, 59 minutes and 40.2 seconds in Vienna.

    Ballon d'Or Feminin winner Megan Rapinoe is among those in the hunt for the Sportswoman of the Year gong, although gymnast Simone Biles also has a compelling case.

    The 22-year-old last year won five gold medals at the World Championships to become the most decorated gymnast in the event's history, and has won this award twice before, in 2019 and 2017.

    The event will take place at the Verti Music Hall in Berlin on Monday. Below is a complete list of the awards up for grabs and the athletes nominated.

    Sportsman of the Year

    Eliud Kipchoge – Athletics
    Lewis Hamilton – Formula One
    Lionel Messi – Football
    Marc Marquez – MotoGP
    Rafael Nadal – Tennis
    Tiger Woods – Golf

    Sportswoman of the Year

    Allyson Felix – Athletics
    Megan Rapinoe – Football
    Mikaela Shiffrin – Skiing
    Naomi Osaka – Tennis
    Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce – Athletics
    Simone Biles – Gymnastics

     

    Team of the Year

    Liverpool – Football
    Mercedes-AMG – Formula One
    South Africa – Rugby Union
    Spain – Basketball
    Toronto Raptors – Basketball
    United States Women – Football

    Breakthrough of the Year

    Andy Ruiz – Boxing
    Bianca Andreescu – Tennis
    Coco Gauff – Tennis
    Egan Bernal – Cycling
    Japan – Rugby Union
    Regan Smith – Swimming

     

    Comeback of the Year

    Andy Murray – Tennis
    Christian Lealiifano – Rugby Union
    Kawhi Leonard – Basketball
    Liverpool – Football
    Nathan Adrian – Swimming
    Sophia Florsch – Formula Three

    Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability

    Alice Tai – Swimming
    Diede de Groot – Wheelchair Tennis
    Jetze Plat – Triathlon
    Manuela Schar – Wheelchair Racing
    Oksana Masters – Cross Country Skiing
    Omara Durand – Athletics

     

    Action Sportsperson of the year

    Carissa Moore – Surfing
    Chloe Kim – Snowboarding
    Italo Ferreira – Surfing
    Mark McMorris – Snowboarding
    Nyjah Huston – Skateboarding
    Rayssa Leal – Skateboarding

  • Sebastian Vettel facing 'important' year for his F1 career - Coulthard Sebastian Vettel facing 'important' year for his F1 career - Coulthard

    Sebastian Vettel must rise to the challenge in 2020 to ensure he can prolong his Formula One career, according to David Coulthard.

    The Ferrari driver is under pressure going into the new season after being outshone by new team-mate Charles Leclerc last year.

    Four-time world champion Vettel last claimed the drivers' championship in 2013, with his Ferrari seat more vulnerable than that of Leclerc, who has signed a new long-term deal.

    Coulthard believes the 32-year-old's quality is beyond doubt but fears for his career if he underperforms in 2020.

    "He's a class driver, you don't win those championships without being so," Coulthard said to Omnisport about Vettel.

    "We have seen in previous years, his last year at Red Bull, he lost a bit of consistency and performance, but he was able to bounce back at Ferrari alongside Kimi Raikkonen. 

    "Let's see if he can bounce back this year. It's in his hands. We know Charles is fast, we know he's able to get those qualifying results and race results, but Seb is a four-time world champion. 

    "This year is a very important year for him to establish if we will see more of him."

    Coulthard is concerned Vettel would not have another realistic option if the Italian team opt not to retain him.

    "I just don't see where he could go logically at the level of expectation in terms of salary and what-have-you," added Coulthard.

    "Red Bull seem quite set in their programme. McLaren have two young drivers. Mercedes, they don't need him. So, I think it's a little bit like Fernando Alonso, even if they want to race there isn't the opportunity for them." 

    Coulthard ended his F1 career at Red Bull and is hoping to see Max Verstappen challenge defending champion Lewis Hamilton for title glory this season, even if the Briton remains the favourite.

    On the title race, he said: "Easy money is to say Hamilton at Mercedes but I think it's absolutely possible on paper for the world champion to come from Red Bull, Ferrari or Mercedes. 

    "I would love to see Max really challenge for the championship. He's got speed, he's got commitment, he's got a young, devil-may-care attitude. 

    "He's a breath of fresh air because he's also very open, very honest, and not kind of aloof and standing off. So I think he would be a great champion.

    "Mercedes have done an exceptional job, but we can see that Ferrari have come up over the last couple of years to being real contenders and Red Bull in their new partnership with Honda are getting a few victories.

    "Those three teams can be challenging for, certainly race victories, and possibly the championships."

  • Hamilton to equal Schumacher? No reason to doubt it, says Coulthard Hamilton to equal Schumacher? No reason to doubt it, says Coulthard

    Lewis Hamilton has been backed to match Michael Schumacher's record of seven Formula One world titles in the 2020 season by David Coulthard.

    Hamilton has won three consecutive F1 drivers' championships to move on to six overall, just one behind Ferrari great Schumacher.

    He goes into a new campaign as the favourite to come out on top once again and fellow Briton Coulthard, a 13-time race winner in his career, sees little reason to doubt him.

    "It's certainly on the cards, isn't it?" Coulthard told Omnisport about the prospect of Hamilton moving level with Schumacher's landmark.

    "Lewis Hamilton is an exceptional driver, he's a great asset for Mercedes. He's had an exceptional run of grand prix championships. He's got the skills, he's got a great team.

    "There's no reason why he wouldn't be able to do that and I think actually with records being there to be broken, it would be great if he was able to equal Michael."

    Comparing the two drivers, Coulthard added: "They have two different styles and two different ways of achieving their success.

    "Michael was kind of ruthless in his approach, a little bit more like Ayrton Senna in that respect. Absolutely prepared to bang wheels and do whatever was necessary to get the victory, combined with a very high skill level, speed and commitment.

    "Lewis is more considered and measured in his wheel-to-wheel combat. He has very good spatial awareness when it comes to racing wheel-to-wheel and very rarely gets involved in incidents."

    With his contract due to expire after 2020, Hamilton has been heavily linked with a move to Ferrari, but Mercedes' optimism about keeping him appears to have grown with the new season approaching.

    And Coulthard does not believe it would make much sense for Hamilton to move on in 2021, by which point he will have turned 36.

    "If he wants to be in Formula One, I expect him to be at Mercedes, but he doesn't have to make a decision right now," Coulthard said.

    "I don't see a logical other opportunity for him at this stage of his career. Therefore, if and when he decides he's continuing, I'm sure it will be at Mercedes."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.