Ferrari to focus on Vettel... to begin with


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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Published: 16/02/2019
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