Sebastian Vettel has explained why he initially refused to allow teammate Daniel Ricciardo to pass him during today’s Chinese Grand Prix despite being told to do so by the team.
The two drivers fought for fifth position after the first round of pit stops on Sunday, and with fresher tires, Ricciardo was faster and looked to pass his four-time champion teammate. Red Bull gave Vettel the call to let him past, but the German driver challenged this team order.
As they were on the same tires, Vettel told his team that it was “tough luck” and continued to push on. However, he soon realised that it was futile, and eventually yielded to Ricciardo.
“I moved over for Daniel once I knew that we were on different strategies,” Vettel explained after the race. “When I was first asked, I didn’t understand as we were on the same tire, unlike in Bahrain, so I double checked.
“When the team said we were on a different strategy, I moved over and then, as the race went on, I saw more and more that I didn’t have the pace. There was no point in holding Dan back.”