Outgoing Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel has accused the Scuderia of compromising his strategy at the Russian Grand Prix to help team-mate Charles Leclerc.
The four-time World Champion believes he was deliberately left out to slow down other cars which were indirectly racing against Leclerc.
After the grand prix, which saw Vettel extensively battle the two Alfa Romeos, the German said: “It was a bit of a boring race as we didn’t have many options in terms of strategy.
“My start, from the dirty side of the track, wasn’t ideal and so I couldn’t benefit from other people’s crashes and collisions. I tried everything I could but I wasn’t able to capitalise on lap one. I didn’t really have a clear track ahead of me, so that was a shame.”
Continuing, he said: “After the safety car period I was a bit stuck and I struggled to stay close to the cars in front of me.
“Then I think obviously we got stuck in the slow group at the back of the field and that was our race. I played the brake block until the pit stop. After that there was not much left.
“It was clear I was left out to slow down the Renaults. It didn’t help me, of course. I think we could have taken a point but that doesn’t change much now.”
Vettel hasn’t finished higher than tenth since the Spanish Grand Prix back in mid-August, and he has consistently been struggling to get the best out of his Ferrari SF1000.
Team principal Mattia Binotto described the weekend as a “step forward” for Ferrari and said Leclerc had a “solid drive”, while blaming Vettel’s lacklustre race on him being stuck in traffic.
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