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Binotto admits "there might be team orders"

NEWS STORY
24/02/2020

Ahead of last year's season opener, Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto understandably confirmed that preference would be given to four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel as he was joined by youngster Charles Leclerc.

Two wins and six poles later, and courtesy of continued mistakes from Vettel and increasing pressure from the media, the wind began to shift as Leclerc stamped his authority on the sport and his team.

While there was never any actual bad blood between the pair, almost from the outset the Monegasque was questioning team strategy in terms of he and his teammate, and as the pressure mounted it was inevitable that it would end in tears... which it did.

Following the clash in Brazil which saw both drivers eliminated, Binotto insisted that his drivers were free to race but made it clear that there were to be no repeats.

Heading into the new season, Binotto says the pair will be given parity, but admits that should things begin to get heated he may feel the need to invoke team orders.

"It is right that they are on the same level to start in 2020," said the Italian. "I think they know the team has the first priority so team orders may still be there," he added.

"I am not saying that they are free to race with no team orders, so there might be team orders for the benefit of the entire team. But it has to be a clear situation."

Insisting that the pair have learned from the mistakes of 2019, Binotto believes the team will benefit from this.

"I think last year has been very useful for both of them and myself to know each other and to understand how we should behave and what should be the rules within the team and what is the priority... that the team comes first," he said.

"I think that the two drivers now know each other better too," he continued, "they are behaving well and I am very happy at the level of discussions we got and the level of contribution to the car and to the team in the way that we are discussing.

"Generally speaking, there is not much to tell them because they understand perfectly what should be the way to behave on track."

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