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Ferrari duo Vettel and Leclerc collide and retire from Styrian Grand Prix

13/07/20

The collision ended a miserable weekend for Ferrari.

Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc were early retirements from the Styrian Grand Prix after the Ferrari pair collided on the opening lap.

Leclerc attempted to go down the inside of Vettel at turn three but bounced up off the kerb and his left rear wheel damaged the German's rear wing.

Four-time champion Vettel was wheeled into the garage without completing a lap, while Leclerc received a new front ring before returning to the track.

The Monegasque had suffered race-ending damage too, though, and was called back to the pits to retire at the end of lap four.

The incident was noted by the race stewards but no action was taken following Leclerc's withdrawal.

It compounded a miserable weekend for Ferrari, who fast-tracked updates that had initially been planned for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Vettel told Sky Sports: "I was fighting two other cars, we were already three cars into turn three, and I was very surprised because I had the inside and I was not expecting Charles to try something. I don't think there was any space, you know.

"It was something we should avoid, but there's not much I could've done differently. I was taking it easy and conservative because it was already very busy and tight.

"I don't think there was space. That's why I think we collided."

Asked what he said to Vettel in the paddock, Leclerc said: "I apologised. Excuses are not enough in times like this.

"I am just disappointed in myself. I've done a very bad job today. I let the team down. I can only be sorry even though it's not enough.

"I hope I'll learn from this and come back stronger for the next races. I put all the effort of the team in the bin, so I'm very sorry. I was [too optimistic with the overtake attempt]."

Vettel and Leclerc only qualified 10th and 11th respectively, though the latter was handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding Daniil Kvyat.

Leclerc was second at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, while Vettel could only manage 10th after spinning out following contact with Carlos Sainz, who will replace him at Ferrari next season.