Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 2019

Vettel still Ferrari’s priority but Leclerc “is proving he is very fast”

2019 British Grand Prix

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Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says the team will continue to give priority to Sebastian Vettel if a “50-50” race situation arises between him and team mate Charles Leclerc.

However Binotto said Leclerc is proving he is capable of winning races.

Vettel benefited from Ferrari’s team orders in a series of instructions in the opening races of the season. Binotto confirmed the policy remains unchanged despite the team and its drivers falling far behind their rivals at Mercedes in both championships.

“What I think we said at the very start of the season is that as first we are here to get maximum points for the team,” said Binotto when asked by RaceFans on Friday.

In the event of a “50-50 situation” then “Sebastian was in that case the one that would have had priority,” Binotto confirmed.

“Sebastian is still the one ahead in the championship between the two drivers at the moment so if there would be any 50-50, certainly we may still give the advantage to Sebastian.”

However Leclerc has now led more laps than any other driver in the championship apart from Lewis Hamilton and has came close to winning in Bahrain and Austria.

“I think as the championship is going on Charles is certainly proving that he is a very fast driver,” said Binotto. “He can be on pole as he has been and [if] he has better opportunity to win races we never stop him winning races.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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19 comments on “Vettel still Ferrari’s priority but Leclerc “is proving he is very fast””

  1. Fine, give the advantage to Seb, but don’t screw over Leclerc in the process. Give the lad a fair chance.

    1. Not gonna happen, Leclerc will be screwed bad and I hope Leclrec has a rebellion tearing apart this team.

  2. This team has an excellent ability to shoot themselves in the foot with million ways. Yes ok at the start of the season you could had favor Vettel but as the season progress you must help your young gun to gain confidence because it’s their future champion.
    I’m impressed with leclerc humility by the way that is shown in all his interviews so far where the team decided to help Vettel but this cannot go on any more.
    I suppose even if they continue to favor Vettel the results till the end will prove them wrong and they will change their attitude for the next year even if Vettel stays for 2020.

    1. @bluechris Well, he’s contracted till next season, so, therefore, he is going to stay, and that’s what everyone should expect despite the rumors.

  3. It makes sense when you really think about it – prioritise the known quantity until the young talent shows he can handle it.

    I can’t say I’d like to be the team leader at Ferrari, the pressure must be immense.

    1. Leclerc makes fewer mistakes than Vettel. It’s Vettel who has to demonstrate he can handle it really.

      1. Remind me again, how many walls has Vettel hit this year and and how many has Leclerc hit (quali+race)? How many time has one of them pulled a Stroll and failed to make it out if Q1?

        1. Walls hit

          Lec: 2
          Vettel: 4 … Maybe 5 I wasn’t keeping a strict count.

        2. @crystakke Stroll has exited in Q1 for many reasons, but never for believing his team’s computers (to the best of my knowledge). Therefore, although the Q1 score is 0-1 in Vettel’s favour, the analogy could stand some improvement.

  4. The chosen image is actually from this occasion:

  5. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
    14th July 2019, 9:18

    They need to support both. Both have been screwed this year either due to strategy or mechanical. This won’t help any of the two.

    1. @panagiotism-papatheodorou Sure both driver suffered from the mistakes Ferrari makes. Leclerc also a lot more from those though.

      However, the point is that Ferrari are screwing Leclerc on purpose in their feeble efforts to help Vettel. Who then squanders it anyway.

  6. I can’t believe what I’ve just read in this article.
    Any further proof required of just how terribly flawed Ferrari’s strategic decision making process really is?
    Well done Charles Leclerc for having the grit to cope so admirably with this team’s bs!
    Couple of wins for CL, & then Ferrs will wake up & smell the real coffee hopefully.

  7. For a team that has constantly screwed itself on track for the second year running now sure go ahead, Prioritising Vettel aint really gonna change anything.

  8. “pit to car 5” Sebastian – Le-Charles is faster than you – do you understand?

    1. “Yes, I understand, he’s wearing out his tyres, using too much fuel, and refuses to use more conservative engine modes. Don’t worry, I can help him. … Aarrrgghh … [crashing sound] oh damn! How did Max get in front of me? Yeah, don’t worry about Charles, I let him pass me…., and Daniel, Nico, Lance, Chicho, Kimi, … and a few others… well most of the others actually passed me.”

  9. pastaman (@)
    14th July 2019, 14:33

    This is pretty normal. Seb has more points and thus gets priority in 50-50 situations, this is true for almost all the teams yes? Not sure what the issue is here.

  10. I thought the Ferrari strategists were the biggest morons in the team…but clearly Binotto is. It was obvious right from the start that Vettel is not capable of winning another championship and they have a far superior talent in Leclerc, who will be the only viable option for turning Ferrari’s fortunes around.

  11. Well they tried to screw Leclerc but Vettel helped him out!

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