Ferrari has the best driver line-up in Formula 1 with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz (right to left, above), according to its team principal Mattia Binotto.
Leclerc was promoted to Ferrari in 2019 after just one year with Alfa Romeo and immediately impressed, earning a long-term contract as he usurped Sebastian Vettel as the team’s lead driver. Vettel was then replaced by Sainz for this season and the Spaniard has picked up 83 points compared to 80 for Leclerc as both have had a competitive year so far, something Binotto is particularly pleased with.
“I’m very happy for many reasons,” Binotto said. “The first is I think we’ve got the best line-up in the entire pit lane and the second because we know Charles is a fantastic driver but is continuously improving, and we are pretty happy with that. We’ve had great opportunities as well to win this season; the first was in Monaco, but for the reasons we know it didn’t happen.
“On the other side, Carlos is integrating very well, is improving race by race. It’s great. Let me say that he’s a benchmark for Charles as well, pushing him when conditions are more difficult. 80 points each, showing how important it is to have two good drivers scoring points for the constructors’ — I’m very happy with that. I’m looking really forward because I’m sure those two guys will give us a great success.”
Sainz is content with his start to life at Ferrari, in a year when many established drivers took a while to get comfortable at new teams.
“I am happy with the way that I am integrating in the team and the first half of the season,” Sainz said. “I’m very happy, particularly, with the speed I’ve had with the car. Since race one I felt like I was able to push it to the limit and be on the pace straight away in pretty much every circuit I’ve been to.
“It doesn’t feel like my strongest season in F1 — I definitely feel like there’s a lot of points, a lot of missed opportunities here and there. I feel like I haven’t maximized a weekend yet as a Ferrari driver — I haven’t put a whole weekend together. This is something that I used to do very well and for some reason — maybe it’s just being part of a new team — it just takes time, you know, to maximize weekends.”