Leclerc and Vasseur’s familiarity no problem for me – Sainz

2023 F1 season

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Carlos Sainz Jnr doesn’t believe he will be at a disadvantage because his new Ferrari team boss already has years of experience working with his team mate.

Ferrari announced Frederic Vasseur as the replacement for outgoing team principal Mattia Binotto last month. Vasseur previously worked with Sainz’s team mate Charles Leclerc at ART in GP3 and again at Sauber when Leclerc made his F1 debut five years ago.

Sainz is satisfied Ferrari have chosen the right person to take over from Binotto. “From what they’ve told me and from how I’ve known him, I think he’s the right man,” he told Autosprint.

Vasseur arrived in F1 with Renault in 2016, then joined Sauber the following year. That team has been branded as Alfa Romeo since 2019.

Binotto has stepped down as Ferrari team principal
“Everyone in the paddock knows him and I’m sure he’ll do well,” Sainz continued. “There will be an adjustment period, but Fred knows Formula 1 very well and also Ferrari. Now there will be this preparation phase to then start working fully with him.”

Leclerc and Vasseur’s familiarity with each other is no cause for concern, said Sainz. “I don’t think I’m starting from scratch. As I said, I’m sure I’ll get on well with him and he’ll be happy with me when he sees me work, with my relationship with the team and with Charles.

“I think his well-tested relationship with Leclerc will be very useful to everyone, also to accelerate his acclimatisation here.”

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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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5 comments on “Leclerc and Vasseur’s familiarity no problem for me – Sainz”

  1. Binotto was an absolute joke when it came to managing drivers. I think the first thing Vasseur needs to do at Ferrari is focus all the efforts of the team in maximising Charles’ chance at a championship. There’s not point in putting any weight behind a driver who can’t even win a race on merit. Sainz was as far off Leclerc, as Perez was from Verstappen. Perez knows his role pretty clearly.. I think it’s about time Sainz gets that reality check as well.

    1. @todfod
      I couldn’t agree more. In a past interview Vasseur has stated that he believes in the driver’s hierarchy to deliver world championships. Sainz has been using his social skills and his father’s connections to get a preferential treatment over Leclerc despite being miles away pace wise. He even got his contract extended for 2 additional seasons and Ferrari didn’t bother looking elsewhere.

      Now he’ll have to use to compete with Leclerc on a level playing field. May the best get the n°1 status and we already know the answer.

      1. Each race I am less confident that Sainz is as good as Perez. The Mexican is not an exceptional driver but he can delver some performance. Last year, the lack of pace from Sainz was astounding. Not that he cant secure a podium, but whenever a race required a 5-lap stint at 110% he couldnt make it.

  2. Just like Binotto, Leclerc is a defeatist.
    He didn’t have a ruthlessness needed as a WDC.

    Can’t believe people still want him to be the number one in the Ferrari.

  3. Mark in Florida
    2nd January 2023, 18:50

    Carlos lost his inside man at Ferrari. With Binnochio gone maybe some sanity will return to Ferrari. I felt something was wrong when Charles couldn’t get any help from Carlos at certain races. Then when they totally screwed up Charles race and allowed Carlos to win when it totally made no sense at all to give Carlos preference. Binnochio stated after the race he wasn’t targeting any championships just overall team performance. That made no sense whatsoever! Carlos and his dad were interfering in the team and disrupting everything for the sake of his son getting a win. Glad to see Vasseur in charge. He looks like a no nonsense type of team principal, just what the Scuderia needs right now.

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