Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari contract detail leaked by Mattia Binotto after Vettel exit
Japanese Grand Prix: Charles Leclerc reacts to sixth place finish
Charles Leclerc isn’t listed as Ferrari’s lead driver in his contract, despite vastly out-performing Sebastian Vettel in his first two years at the team. Ferrari team principal confirmed Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr will be free to battle it out on the track.
Leclerc has enjoyed a brilliant start to his Ferrari career, having outperformed Vettel in both seasons they shared with the Prancing Horse.
After joining from Alfa Romeo, Leclerc impressed instantly and finished on the podium in just his second race with the team.
He went on to finish in fourth place in the Drivers’ Championship standings, 24 points ahead of Vettel.
Leclerc became unofficially recognised as the team’s leading driver due to his success on the track, despite struggling in his second season.
The Monegasque star struggled in the 2020 season, finishing in eighth place after failing to win a race. But Vettel fared much worse, finishing in 13th in the Drivers’ Championship standings.
For the upcoming season, the legendary German has been replaced by Sainz, who left McLaren at the end of last season.
Despite their apparent difference in stature within the sport, Leclerc won’t be given any preferential treatment by Ferrari, Binotto claims.
Speaking to RaceFans.net, via Planet F1, he insisted the pair will be given equal opportunity to prove their worth on the track, and neither will be listed as the lead driver.
“There is nothing written in the contract of Charles being the leader,” Binotto confirmed, as quoted by RaceFans.net.
“The two will be free to fight on track.
“I think it’s important that they are not damaging themselves, that’s clear.
“But they will have equal opportunity certainly at the start of the season.
“I’m hoping and I’m pretty sure that Carlos will help us in doing better in terms of constructors and overall as a team.
“He is a fast driver, he is very strong.
“If you look at the 2020 season he made, it was really a very good season. He has been even faster in qualifying which, I think if you look at the past years, he was not so fast in the quali. In 2020 he has been very strong in quali as well.
“He is a very strong racer. I think he’s one of those drivers that is finishing races very often and normally in the race he is improving his position compared to the quali.
“He’s had many seasons now at different teams, different methodologies in terms of working with the engineers, approaching the set-up, so he will certainly bring us a different experience which we are, again, very open to hear, to listen and eventually to learn where possible.
“I’m expecting him to be a great team mate as well for Charles. I think that the two will find each other very well, as well. I’m expecting he’s a hard worker. I’m expecting he is a leader.
“I’m expecting him to help develop the team and the team become stronger in the future.
“And that’s already in 2021. I don’t think we need to wait for the 2022, I think 2021 is where already I am pretty sure we will get benefit from him joining Ferrari.”
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