Binotto reiterates: Team is the top priority

Michelle Foster
Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc 2020

Charles Leclerc said he was intimidated by Sebastian Vettel at first when he joined Ferrari.

After last year’s team-mate dramas, Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto has reiterated to his drivers that Ferrari and its position in the Constructors’ Championship is the “top priority”.

Last season Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc both cost Ferrari points in the Constructors’ Championship as they clashed out on track.

The flash point came at the Brazilian Grand Prix when, with just six laps to go, Vettel and Leclerc dramatically collided.

Leclerc overtook Vettel for position with the German fighting back two corners later.

They made contact and both drivers retired from the grand prix, blaming the other for the incident.

Binotto was not impressed at the time but is confident his drivers won’t make such mistakes again this season.

“What happened last year was important for both of them,” he told the official F1 website.

“We discussed and had some clarity as to what I’m expecting.

“The team interest is the top priority, and the Constructors’ Championship is a key element.

“They are free to race, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still apply team orders in the interests of the team.

“But if the team is doing well, the drivers get the benefit of it.

“They are two smart and clever guys, they are getting to know each other better.

“What happened last year, not only in Brazil, but also in Russia when we tried to manage team orders.

“These situations gave us the opportunity to discuss and when you discuss in a transparent way, you get to know each other better.

“I think we have built more trust and confidence between us as a team, between the drivers, and that will be helpful in 2020.”

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