Ferrari: Mattia Binotto on Charles Leclerc against Carlos Sainz, and no “ regrets ” of Lewis Hamilton

Ferrari team leader Mattia Binotto speaks exclusively to Craig Slater of Sky Sports News about the new range of pilots; he also discusses Lewis Hamilton and if he regrets not joining the most successful team and driver in F1

Last updated: 01/13/21 6:10 am

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will be “free to fight” as Ferrari teammates early in 2021, according to team boss Mattia Binotto – who says his exciting lineup of young drivers means he has no regret not bringing Lewis Hamilton to Formula 1’s most famous team.

After a miserable 2020, which saw the sport’s historically dominant force finish sixth, Ferrari this year enters a new era with its youngest team in more than half a century as Sainz, 26, replaces the four-time champion of the world Sebastian Vettel, join Leclerc, 23.

Sainz, who was at Ferrari’s headquarters in Maranello on Tuesday to start preparations for the 2021 season, will drive in the iconic red after a transfer from McLaren – which was agreed in May last year.

“I think Sebastian is a great person, a great driver, and we had a great time together – but I think it was time to make a different decision and move forward,” Binotto told Sky Sports News ” Craig Slater in an exclusive interview.

“We will have a very young line-up in the future, the youngest Ferrari line-up since 1968, but these two drivers, Charles and Carlos, are very strong, very talented, and even though they are young they have a good experience in F1.

“So I am very happy with the choice.”

Ferrari has traditionally employed a ‘number one’ and ‘two’ driver over the years, especially when Michael Schumacher embarked on a trophy-laden streak in the early 2000s. But Leclerc’s form l ‘ saw and Vettel treated as equals, often with combative results – and Binotto says Leclerc and Sainz will start that way as well.

“There is no number one and number two, they will have a level playing field – certainly at the start of the season,” said the team boss. “I’m pretty happy that they are free to fight.

“I think what we have to do as usual is to optimize the team points, and when you normally optimize the team points, you also optimize the pilot points. The team points are the number. a.”

“Later in the season let’s see how things go, let’s see what goals individual drivers can maybe achieve and if we have to take a different strategy, but at the start of the season they will be free to fight.”

The Scuderia is aiming to at least move up to third place in the leaderboard this year, although it is prioritizing the ‘clean slate’ of the 2022 rule update, which could completely reset the pecking order. the F1.

Ferrari explains why there is no ‘regret’ in Hamilton

With Ferrari reeling from their worst season in 40 years and Mercedes celebrating a seventh straight defeat for the title, talk of Silver Arrows superstar Hamilton joining Scuderia – which has plagued much of the glittering F1 career of the ‘English – is a distant memory.

Hamilton has yet to sign a new contract for 2021, although he is expected to do so shortly. Even if not, a successful Ferrari love at first sight is now certainly off the table due to their decline from title challengers to midfield racers, and their new line-up of drivers. .

David Croft explains the logistical challenges F1 teams face as the 2021 calendar is revamped, with two of the first three scheduled races no longer taking place on their original dates.

David Croft explains the logistical challenges F1 teams face as the 2021 calendar is revamped, with two of the first three scheduled races no longer taking place on their original dates.

Binotto explained if there was any regret that he had failed to establish a partnership between F1’s most successful driver and the most successful team.

“I don’t think there will be any regrets because at the end when we made decisions we made them thinking they were the right decisions and today we have a fantastic driver like Charles where we have invested a lot as a Ferrari, ”Binotto explained.

“I think he’s got a lot of talent. If he has the right car I’m pretty sure he can challenge Lewis Hamilton.

“We made our choices, and I think that with Carlos we are very strong. I don’t think there will be any regret.”

The new F1 season is set to start on March 28 with the Bahrain GP after the postponement of the Australian GP to November.

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