Mattia Binotto says Sebastian Vettel is ‘dealing well’ with Charles Leclerc as his team-mate in 2019 despite the young Monegasque driving so well during his first year within the Scuderia Ferrari set-up.
Leclerc joined Ferrari at the beginning of 2019 as a replacement for Vettel’s long-time team-mate Kimi Räikkönen, and many likened that move to the one that Red Bull Racing did in 2014 when they paired the German with young hotshot Daniel Ricciardo, a move that ultimately led to Vettel leaving the team at the end of the campaign to more to Maranello.
Vettel has found himself often out-qualified by Leclerc in 2019, with the German yet to have started on pole position whereas the Monegasque racer has twice performed that feat. Ever since the Canadian Grand Prix, Vettel has started behind his less experienced team-mate, but he has scored more podiums this season, standing on the podium six times compared to the five of Leclerc.
Vettel currently sits fourth in the Drivers’ Championship with on hundred and fifty-six points to his name, with the German twenty-four points ahead of Leclerc. Vettel has only once failed to score points, which came as a result of his dramatic collision with Max Verstappen in the British Grand Prix, while Leclerc has two non-scores, courtesy of crashing out in both the Monaco and German Grand Prix.
Binotto, the team principal of Ferrari, says Vettel and Leclerc are a good fit as team-mates, and Vettel remains as motivated as ever to deliver the results for the team. Vettel is also thought of by Binotto as an integral part of the team both this season and in the future.
“He’s dealing well with Charles, they are two good team-mates,” Binotto said to Motorsport.com. “He is very smart, he is very motivated, and I think that even for him it could’ve been a lot more difficult, that start to the season, but overall I think he knows how good he can be, and he’s smart enough to understand the entire situation.
“I think he’s still very supportive with the team, with himself, and he knows that he is an important pillar of our team for the present and for the future.”