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Vettel still has priority, says Binotto

NEWS STORY
12/04/2019

Long before he'd even stepped into the SF90, sections of the media were already clearly very taken with Charles Leclerc.

His pace in Melbourne, where he was eventually told to hold station behind his teammate, left many questioning the move, while two weeks later, having taken pole and only lost out on a historic victory due to a technical failure, it was virtually done and dusted, the King is dead, long live the King.

Indeed, with Leclerc's performance in Bahrain, not to mention the manner in which he reacted to his technical issues and subsequent failure to claim certain victory, Vettel's error while battling Hamilton, had the media asking not so much if there would be parity between the pair from now on, but whether the youngster might be promoted to de facto number one.

Not yet, says Binotto.

"As a team we need to give the priority to the team, and try to maximise the team's points at the end of the race," he told reporters. "And as I said at the start of the season, if there is any 50/50 situation where we need to take a decision, the advantage would have been given to Sebastian simply because Sebastian has got most of the experience in the team, in F1.

"He has won four championships," he continued, "and certainly for us he is the driver who's got most probability to challenge for the title.

"If, as something we agreed with both drivers, in a few races' time, things may change, for whatever reasons, bad luck or whatever could be the situation, we may change our position on that," he admitted. "But on the track they are free to fight. On the track, I think if there is one driver who is certainly faster, he will get the advantage.

"I think that Charles, as a matter of fact, had the opportunity to be on pole in Bahrain, he had the opportunity to fight for the winning position in Bahrain."

Asked about how Leclerc handled the situation in Bahrain, when it was clear he was going to lose what had appeared to be certain victory, Binotto said: "Losing was tough, but even more probably frustrating.

"But that has given us even more of a boost for the following races and for here in China," he continued. "To Charles, what I told him is that I think he did a great qualifying and great race, but more than that I think he has been fantastic in the post-race comments.

"It shows that he is a really mature driver. So I simply told him 'good job', but I'm more happy for what he did after the race than during the entire weekend. And that's enough, because all of us are simply looking ahead and at the next challenge."

Check out our Friday gallery from Shanghai, here.

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1. Posted by Toffeecup0, 14/04/2019 18:27

"No no no he should not have priority who does he think he is God’s gift Charles should have an equal chance"

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2. Posted by Chris Roper, 12/04/2019 19:56

""And as I said at the start of the season, if there is any 50/50 situation where we need to take a decision, the gun is loaded and aimed squarely at our feet.""

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