Vettel started 2019 with “priority” over Charles Leclerc, but the Monegasque’s performances eventually eroded that away and the German was the one being ordered aside to benefit Leclerc come the Russian GP.
However, Vettel refused to let his team-mate through, drawing comparisons with the infamous “Multi 21” moment in Malaysia in 2013, when Vettel ignored Red Bull’s team orders to overtake Mark Webber and win the race.
Vettel sees nothing wrong with drivers standing up for themselves, but says he remains happy to play into the team ethic at Ferrari.
He told Motorsport.com: “Inside the car it’s sometimes difficult to know everything, because you cannot see everything.
“So it depends really [on] the situation. And I don’t think you can stereotype, say ‘he was right, he was wrong’.
“Obviously if you look back with Mark it was a different situation, because we were working as a team together for many years, I don’t think we worked really well together!
“And then the day came where I was asked to do something, and I never got any favour before, so why should I give a favour now?
“So, it was a bit of different situation, but in the end you look after yourself. You have to also stand up for yourself and [for] what you believe is right.
“Whether then afterwards you were still right or wrong, it is a different story.
“It is a difficult one, especially nowadays. If you compare to the 70s, 80s, early 90s, then it was still like the driver was the main figure.
“You needed a team around you, but I think nowadays you carry much more responsibility for the people around you, the people behind you, supporting you, supporting the team.
“And especially with Ferrari. It is fair to say, that the team is bigger than anything else. Bigger than the driver.”