Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto has once again pointed out that the Maranello team does not have a ‘number 1’ driver policy, as both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are free to fight for the best possible result, while being aware that the primary goal for Ferrari is to maximize the points each race weekend.
The matter returned to the newspapers’ headlines in recent weeks, after Ferrari chairman John Elkann was interviewed by Gazzetta dello Sport ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza and said that the Scuderia is targeting to fight and win the Formula 1 championships by 2026 “with Charles Leclerc in pole position” to win the Drivers’ title.
However, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto confirmed that does not mean that Carlos Sainz is the team’s number 2 driver, with the role of only helping his teammate:
“I think what our chairman meant is that if we look at the current season, Charles has been faster than Carlos on average and he’s also been on pole more often.” – Mattia Binotto said, in a recent interview for Sky Italia – “The goal is to win the world championship and that goes for both drivers.” – he added.
The Ferrari boss also defended Carlos Sainz and pointed out that the Spaniard has done a solid job since joining the Maranello team last year, which has also led to him receiving a extension from Scuderia Ferrari: the Spanish driver will continue with Ferrari until at least the end of the 2024 Formula 1 championship.
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“I think Carlos is a strong racing driver. He’s proven that over the past years and he’s proving it again this season. He always scores a lot of points on Sundays, he’s learning and he’s fast too. So it’s fair that we as a team give both drivers the same chances at least at the start of the season.” – he explained.
At the same time, Mattia Binotto confirmed that in certain conditions during a Formula 1 championship, Ferrari may eventually issue team orders in order to have a better chance of reaching a certain target: “Should the need arise, we could at some point determine who has the better chance of winning.” – the Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal concluded.