New Ferrari boss makes Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz promise
Mick Schumacher drives his father’s Ferrari F2003-GA in October
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Ferrari boss Frederic Vasseur has warned he will not be afraid to use team orders to get the best result for the team. The Frenchman stressed he would be prepared to “take action” regardless of which driver gets the preferential treatment.
However, he ruled out giving Charles Leclerc number one driver status despite picking up three wins to Carlos Sainz’s one last season. The former Alfa Romeo boss revealed both drivers would have equal machinery and hinted one would only be given preferential treatment if the championship justified it.
He commented: “We have two very good drivers who are both able to do the job. We will have the capacity to provide them exactly the same car and structure and support. The target is to win for Ferrari. There will be no number one or two. But if at one stage I have to take action, I will take action. It doesn’t matter if it is one or the other, if at one stage of the season, I have to do something, I will do it.”
The approach differs from ex-team boss Mattia Binotto who was reluctant to favour Leclerc at times last season.
The Italian refused to let the Monegasque stay ahead of Sainz at Silverstone desolate leading while title rival Max Verstappen fell down the field. After the race, Binotto was seen wagging his finger at Leclerc after the pair were spotted in a heated exchange.
The incident is likely to have led to a downturn in the pair’s relationship which may have prompted Binotto’s departure. Leclerc urged his team to ask Sainz to give up P3 in Brazil so Leclerc could fend off Sergio Perez in the Drivers’ Championship.
The team’s refusal to help prompted an angry backlash from Leclerc who suggested the team had gone back on their word from before the race. The 25-year-old said: “I don’t normally ask [for] these types of things, but we had these discussions prior to that race, so that’s why I asked about it.
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“For some reason, we changed our mind on that – I don’t know yet, the reason.” However, Leclerc has come under fire for demanding the team favour his side of the garage.
Ec-F1 driver Emmanuele Pirro feels Ferrari should support the “weaker” driver regardless of the standings to ensure the team achieves the best result. He said: “In Red Bull, the problem doesn’t even arise, with Verstappen so much stronger than Perez.
“With team-mates who can be compared today such as Hamilton-Russell or Leclerc-Sainz, the team principal must support those who are more in difficulty, like a parent with a weaker child. Besides, in the decisive moments, the champion has the extra spark and makes the difference.”
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