No main driver at Ferrari with team orders dictated on track

Ferrari will not have a No.1 driver in 2022 with team orders dictated by the circumstances on the track, team boss Mattia Binotto has said.

Although Charles Leclerc had established himself as the Scuderia’s top man in 2019 and 2020, he was beaten last year in the Drivers’ Championship by his new teammate Carlos Sainz by 5.5 points.

The key to the Spaniard’s success was incredible consistency. He was the only driver to complete every race last season, placing in the top 10 in 20 of 22 Grands Prix, including four podiums and one worst result of all year as a P11.

Leclerc has also been unlucky a few times, such as not taking the start after taking pole in Monaco, albeit after a crash at the end of Q3, and was also eliminated at the start in Hungary.

But Sainz believes the end result of the championship was fair and showed Ferrari’s neutral approach to its drivers.

“You can still look at the year race by race, and in some races there wasn’t and in others there was, but after 22 races luck pays and everyone ends up where they go. deserves to be, ”he said. Marca.

“Ferrari doesn’t care which driver finishes ahead of the other, it was only important to be third [in the Constructors’ Championship], the most important thing.

“At Ferrari, there is no leader, even if few believe me and that was shown at the end of the season. Two good drivers who are leading and leading the team, and I think that will continue to be the case and I think that’s their thing.

“Finish behind the first four cars [Mercedes and Red Bull] who are a second faster, you think being first of the others is symbolic and a good symbol for those of us behind.

In a year when most of the drivers who changed teams or joined the grid struggled, Sainz also reversed that trend by equaling Leclerc from the start.

And the Monegasque concedes that it was an education alongside the second generation driver.

“I learned a lot,” he says.

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“As always, when you have a new teammate, you always learn, [such as] the new ways Carlos approaches race weekends, the way he works, his talent, his raw speed too, the way he takes turns.

“He’s had an amazing year, so he obviously pushed me a lot, a lot to try to perform better in every race and it’s just extremely interesting.

“I think one of Carlos’ strengths is race management and tire management, and that was probably my weakness in 2019,” added Leclerc.

“I’ve improved a lot as a driver in 2020 and again last year, and part of last year was because of Carlos.”

For 2022, Ferrari has big ambitions to use the new regulations to fight for the top of the grid again.

And with two drivers tied, team boss Binotto accepts that he must let them race.

“At the level of the pilots, as we often say, it is on the track that we dictate it”, he declared. GPFans.

“The first priority is always the team, but there is no doubt that Charles and Carlos can compete for an important position in the championships. It will be the track that tells who is ahead.

“Sometimes I think it’s not just a question of skill and ability of the driver. A driver can be miserable and have damage or reliability issues, accidents.

“But certainly, we won’t have a number one and number two policy, but we will just discuss it based on positions on the right track whenever it is done.”

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