A bit of politics eventually led to a collision between the two red cars at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Pressure is mounting on Vettel who might feel it more after his younger teammate secured a deal which would see him at the Italian team until at least 2024.
But according to Leclerc, he and his four-time world champion teammate are mature enough to understand the battles on-track remain on-track.
"I think we are mature enough to understand what happens on track, we are two competitors who want to win and it would be wrong otherwise. We want to win and we are exteemly competitive and sometime on track we might have some frictions but we are mature enough to know that what has happened on-track. And off-track we are different persons," Leclerc said in an interview with Autosport.
"I think the most important thing is that we work well together especially off-track to try and develop the car as much as possible and not exceed the limits on-track like we saw in Brazil. I think it was a good lesson for both of us and we will make sure it doesn't happen again."
Relationship helps each other to improve
At the end of the season, Leclerc finished ahead of his teammate in the F1 world championship. His performances were more consistent throughout the 21 races. He knows full well that this will fuel Vettel with some motivation to get better, as it does when he finds himself behind his German teammate on race weekends.
"It pushes both of us to try and push our limits and make us stronger. Whenever he's in front of me, I don't like it and I work even harder. When it's the oppositie it's the same for him," Leclerc added.
"There's been times when we didn't understand each other in some situations. It's never good to speak about it straight after an incident so we give it some time and then after Russia we sat down again in Japan to understand each other."