Leclerc leaves it to Binotto to choose Ferrari No.1

Henry Valantine
Charles Leclerc wears sunglasses in the paddock. France July 2022.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc adjusts his sunglasses at Paul Ricard. France July 2022.

Charles Leclerc has brushed aside any suggestion of Ferrari picking a number one driver for the rest of the season just yet, insisting that it is team boss Mattia Binotto’s decision as and when to do so.

Leclerc won the Austrian Grand Prix last time out as team-mate Carlos Sainz retired with an engine failure, which gave Leclerc a 37-point advantage over Sainz at the halfway point of the season.

Sainz took victory at Silverstone a week beforehand but, with the summer break approaching and Max Verstappen holding a healthy lead in the Drivers’ standings, it is likely that Ferrari will look to select one of their drivers to challenge the reigning champion for the remainder of the season.

Leclerc shut down any idea that he has been giving the situation much thought, instead preferring to look after what he controls and leave the Ferrari bosses to make their decisions.

“I mean, I don’t want to think about this,” Leclerc told Sky Sports at Paul Ricard.

“I mean, my job is to drive the car and I will try to drive the car the fastest way possible, and then these choices are not made by me. It’s more Mattia who will take care of these choices.

“So yeah, for now, I just focus on myself, try to do the best job on track and this is the best thing I can do for myself and also for the team.”

Leclerc passed Verstappen three times on his way to victory at the Red Bull Ring at the last round, explaining that Ferrari were able to outdo Red Bull on outright speed – particularly with their title rivals’ issues with tyre degradation.

He added his feeling that Ferrari have been competitive everywhere, and their results have sometimes not been reflective of the speed that the F1-75 has shown throughout the year so far.

“The three overtakes, the first one was proper pace. The next two were mostly tyre offset, but anyway, that meant that we have more pace on them, which is a positive,” Leclerc explained.

“I felt like in quite a bit of races this year, we had this pace that we couldn’t show. Barcelona I think we were very strong on that race, but we broke the engine.

“Monaco, I think we were very strong also, but we did a mistake and Silverstone we were very strong.

“Baku maybe was one of the races where we were a bit less strong, [but] we were still in the lead. So yeah, overall, I think the pace is there. The performance is there and it’s good.

“I think it was a bit more of a surprise to see Red Bull struggle so much with the tyres and I think this is a bit more of a one off but, overall focusing on ourselves I’m sure we can fight for wins at every track we go to.”


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