SUZUKA, JAPAN - Ferrari Formula One team-mates Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel played down talk of a rift between them, saying tensions that threatened to boil over at the Russian Grand Prix had cooled.
The pair engaged in a testy back and forth with their team over the radio two weeks ago in Sochi after Vettel, who used the slipstream tow from the Monegasque's pole-sitting car to vault into the lead at the start, refused to hand the place back as per a pre-race agreement.
The flare-up ultimately resolved itself, with Vettel forced to retire with a power unit problem having already lost track position to Leclerc thanks to a later pitstop.
But it still left Ferrari managing an increasingly delicate relationship between the German four-time champion and the 21-year-old.
"There was some misunderstanding (in) the car," said Leclerc, speaking to reporters ahead of Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.