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Ferrari to focus on Vettel... to begin with

NEWS STORY
16/02/2019

Be it the fact that he has four titles to his name, 52 wins and is paid far more, the fact is that Sebastian Vettel is Ferrari's number one driver, while 2019 teammate Charles Leclerc is heading into only his second season.

However, aware of the youngster's talent, the fact that he is a product of the team's own driver academy, the events at Red Bull in 2014 and the errors made last season, Ferrari feels it best to make a clear distinction and prioritise the German's title bid, to begin with.

"It's normal, especially early in the season, that if there are particular situations our priority will be Sebastian," team boss Mattia Binotto told reporters at the launch of the team's 2019 contender.

"He is the guide with which we aim for the championship," he continued. "But there's no prejudice, the absolute priority is for Ferrari to win.

"To have a driver pairing so competitive I think it's not a problem but an opportunity," he smiled. "Sebastian has little to prove, and he remains our guide. Charles still has to learn, as pointed out by himself, but we know how talented he is.

"Anyway, I hope to have this problem of having two drivers to manage among the top positions."

While Ferrari took a major wrong turn in terms of the late-season upgrade last year, and was further compromised by Vettel's numerous mistakes, its cause wasn't helped by the way it handled its two drivers, in particular allowing Kimi Raikkonen to take pole at Monza and subsequently battle his teammate at the start of the race.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Lapps, 17/02/2019 8:10

"No matter what they say, I believe Ferrari are focusing on a 2020 Title run with Leclerc.
Seb is now seen as ‘damaged goods’. They will give him another shot this year, but don’t really expect him to cut it against Lewis. "

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2. Posted by GarH, 16/02/2019 19:08

"Have Ferrari ever supported 2 drivers, ever allowed them to race?

They ain't gonna change after 70 years.

"

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3. Posted by Fambank, 16/02/2019 10:03

"All PC aside. There can be only one WDC, and think any team should aim to have one of their drivers being that person. This can only be achieved if he has the full support of the team, in both providing a competitive package as well as sound race tactics, and yes sometimes they have to be changed at an instance when the situation requires.

The other driver is there to pick up the points when the first driver can't for some reason, or finish ahead of the competition so more points are denied to them. For the 2019 season don't think the top teams have an equal driver pairing, but surely that will change in the future. Leclerc, Gasly, and Ocon ( if Bottas fails to deliver ) will have a better skillset in 2021 and beyond to challenge the no.1 driver.

There are plenty examples of the driver pairing being good enough for both of them to go for the WDC, but
in the majority of them, the one finishing second already was a WDC once or would be in the future.

"

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