Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Sochi Autodrom, 2019

Binotto: Mercedes showed running two number one drivers is “not impossible”

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In the round-up: Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says he is happy with the team’s driver line-up despite the rising tensions between the pair.

What they say

Binotto was asked whether the team could manage two ‘number one’ drivers like Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel.

Mercedes got two top drivers at the time and won anyway the championships. They won it with Hamilton, they won it with Rosberg so I don’t think it’s impossible.

I’m very happy for the drivers we’ve got because at the moment I think it’s a great mix between experienced driver [and] young and talented driver. And even for Charles having someone like Seb next to him is is a key factor.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Is Max Verstappen convinced his long-term F1 future is in a Red Bull-Honda?

I wouldn’t be surprised if Verstappen was invited to a meeting with Honda to try and convince him that they will deliver.

Red Bull would have to be concerned that Max will leave at the end of 2021. And both Max and Jos seem a bit disappointed lately.

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On this day in F1

  • 15 years ago today Michael Schumacher won the Japanese Grand Prix ahead of brother Ralf, while Olivier Panis made his final F1 start

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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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  • 17 comments on “Binotto: Mercedes showed running two number one drivers is “not impossible””

    1. It’s easy to have two number one drivers when your car is dominating. I actually think Ferrari was better example. Back when Kimi and Massa drove for them. I wasn’t watching F1 then, but I assume their relationship was good.

      1. It was, and both of them almost won the championship too, just like Hamilton and Rosberg. But Ferrari, even with Kimi and Felipe, clearly backed one of the two drivers after the first few races. So they still had a number one, they just switched it around a bit.

        1. @nathanbuilder @carbon_fibre

          Actually Massa was not too happy to say the least at the end and feels like he was robbed the championship by Ferrari but that was more directed toward Ferrari than Kimi although Kimi did act as the number 1 driver. I’m sure you can say that Massa and Kimi go out for beers now a days.

          It will never be easy or go well for the guy who’s deemed number 2 when he thinks he can totally win the championship. Thats almost worse than being last.

      2. I think the opposite is true as well, acwell funded midfield team surely provides equal opportunities.

        rosberg was not a number 1, he was a 1.5. Mercedes did favour Lewis, when in need Lewis always had alternative strats over nico whereas nico pretty much had the regular strategy when behind lewis, then you have the mechanics and weird failures, that said I have the feeling that mercedes may have gifted nico the 2016 title, only to regret it when nico retired as a result.

      3. @carbon-fibre Isn’t a Kimi and Massa partnership basically two number-2 drivers?

      4. That’s more running two number two drivers

    2. Who’s he trying to kid? Mercedes currently has a clear hierarchy with Hamilton at the very top and it works working very well. I like Bottas a lot and he is very good and totally capable of winning but currently Hamilton is better and Mercedes knows that as well making it easier to come up with winning race strategies for the team on race day. Bottas will come in 2nd unless something goes wrong with Hamilton, then Bottas is given the green light but Bottas will file in line when told (he deserves a medal for that).
      It was chaos for Merc when Rosberg was there, they have a much better situation now and probably smile when hearing all the inner fighting going on over at Ferrari and glad they don’t have that again. Re-signing Bottas was brilliant move and a no brainer.

      Ferrari will totally need to sort out there drivers if they want to succeed in winning WDC and team rankings next year.

    3. Well now all that Binotto needs is another #1 driver, wink – wink, nudge – nudge.

      Joke to the side, yes this is the problem you want to have. They are managing it somewhat badly.

      Mercedes had awful trouble aswell masked by a dominant car. Many of us remarked things would not be as easy fof them if Ferrari or RBR would be more competitive.

      Well this is now happening to Ferrari. They have the fastest car by a tiny margin sometimes. Then any kind of driver management fails against 1 horse teams especially Mercedes.

      I still insist it is a good problem to have. They are the most exciting team right now. Nobody talks about Mercedes.

      I give you an example, my MotoGP fan friends who used to watch F1 15 years ago know who Leclerc is and know enough to ask me if he is really that good? How can he win against Mercedes who are always faster last 10 years?

      Ferrari right now are creating a buzz outside the usual circles.

      And that is a good problem to have. They might not win championships until they get it right, but right away they are generating the right kind of exciting impact.

      1. > Mercedes had awful trouble aswell masked by a dominant car. Many of us remarked things would not be as easy fof them if Ferrari or RBR would be more competitive.

        We actually know: Alonso and Lewis vs Kimi

    4. Vettel is not a number one now though Mattia, you have a top level driver and a rich mans Kimi Raikonnen in the 2nd car. If this season it was the Ferrari 2018 lineup and this renaissance is not looking as good as it has, Vettel can barely get on the front row whilst Leclerc is smoking it. Hamilton is making Vettel look silly outqualifying him many times recently.

      Let’s be honest Vettel needs an old out of there prime teammate or a slow one he cannot face younger guys or guys the same age he is 0-2 against teammates who join his team and they beat him, that is embarassing. You are all settled in youre team and new guy comes in a beats you? What does that say and them people know who they are blaming it on Ricciardo having nothing to lose saying the same would not happen this time with Leclerc… Well newsflash same thing happend that i and many others said would happen.

      It is no shame though 4 xWC going to be high in all stats he is a great of the sport but he will not be on the Lewis mantle of drivers that is for sure. He will never live down the fact that he should of easily went 5 to 4 in titles vs Hamilton instead he blows it big style in proper dual and goes 5-4 down about to be 6-4 and now he as competion in his car it is very unlikey he ever wins another title, especially when qualifying is a huge part in F1 and he blows at that now.

      1. Offcorse we all hoped Vettel will be better when the car improved. Then Leclerc was better aswell :D.

        It’s a catch 22, but the kid is blisteringly fast.

    5. Regarding the COTD: You mean at the end of 2020.

    6. Everyone is piling on Bottas. When Wolf isn’t dishing out back handed compliments someone else will cut him off at the knee…

      1. Because he has a couple of good races throughout the year and is nowhere for the rest of them. The guy has no consistant killer instinct whatsoever, he is definitely quick but needs to do a ton of work on his mind.

    7. Good to know that @TomRichtrF1 joined the party. I’m happy supporting RaceFans for their good quality content.

      I keep on being absolutely dissatisfied with the community organization and lack of site improvements. There are problems piling up that the ownership doesn’t want to address. No need to recap them for the 100th time.

    8. I did not leave a reply/comment for a very long time around here, but I had to react to the « independent media » thing.

      I am a racefans/f1fanatic supporter for over 10 years, back in 2008 I guess, and here is the kind of journalism I want to read and share. Proper articles, features and opinions make me visit this very website everyday.

      I am studying medias at university with a will (power) to become a motorsport journo and @keithcollantine is, you are, a model to me.

      Anyway, long life to racefans and to all independent journalists trying to earn their money in a honest and pure way, even if there is tough times.

    9. Obviously Albon’s helmet car is better than the MCL32 that Max is driving in that picture

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