Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has clarified that Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel will be allowed to race in 2019, but future team orders won’t be ruled out.
Leclerc’s move to Ferrari for 2019 has prompted speculation that Vettel would be given preferential treatment if the team are in a championship-challenging position.
The performances shown by Ferrari over pre-season testing has encouraged many to think they will be frequently in race-winning positions.
Earlier in the week Binotto had suggested that Vettel would be favoured in “particular situations” if required.
When asked if giving Leclerc an effective ‘number two’ status would be good for his own development, he clarified that Vettel and Leclerc would be free to race, but clear intentions (instructions) would be required in “ambiguous situations’.
“I think that it’s good for Ferrari. I think it’s good when you’ve got clear intentions from the start, then you do not make mistakes when you have a ambiguous situation, and I think that obviously the two will be free to fight,” said Binotto.
“We will not ask Charles to be slow, or Sebastian to be fast, because we need both of them to run to the maximum and trying to do their best.
Binotto added that he expects Vettel’s experience to be apparent in the first few races, which could give the four-time champion the advantage in 2019.
“At the start to the season Sebastian has more experience. He’s been with us for many years, he has won many championships, so he is our champion.”