Ferrari drivers ‘on equal terms’ to start 2020

Ferrari’s Mattia Binotto says both Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc will race as equals within the team at the start of the 2020 season.

There will be no favouritism for either of the two Ferrari drivers at the start of the 2020 season, according to team boss Mattia Binotto.

Speaking at the launch of their 2020 SF1000 in Italy on Tuesday, Binotto said that the team won’t throw their weight behind either driver at the start of the season. This means that four time World Champion Sebastian Vettel and two time Grand Prix winner Charles Leclerc will compete as equals in the fight for supremacy at the Scuderia.

“It’s developed,” said Binotto of the relationship between the pair entering their second year together. “Charles has got a year’s experience with us. They will be on the same level, they can both fight to be ahead. So let them race.”

The two drivers came to blows at the end of the 2019 season, when Vettel and Leclerc collided into retirement, albeit in very minor fashion, at the Brazilian Grand Prix. As a result, Leclerc said he’s going to give his teammate a slightly wider berth in 2020/

“We both learned the lesson what happened in Brazil,” he said. “We are free to race but we are also team mates. A lot of people [work] on the car, we are a team, and things in Brazil shouldn’t happen. I’ve learned from it. The margins will probably be a bit bigger.”

Sebastian Vettel welcomed the equality at Ferrari, saying he wouldn’t expect anything less.

“[It was] not like I had a different car [in 2019],” he said. “We both have the same car, and the same chance to race well. I never doubted that, I don’t think Charles did either… It doesn’t change anything. Starting on equal terms, we were last year, we are this year as well.”

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Thomas Maher

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