Sainz and Leclerc have equal status in F1 2022

With the Maranello team finishing third behind Mercedes and Red Bull this season, it hopes the early development it made towards its 2022 car will pay off in closing the gap.

With one of the most attuned drivers in F1, Ferrari is well aware that if its duo is deducting points from each other, it could be a compromise if they find themselves in a tight battle for the championship.

Team boss Mattia Binotto is clear, however, that Sainz and Leclerc will start on an equal footing – and that it will be the results on track that will ultimately decide whether there comes a point where they have to favor one over the other.

“As for drivers, as we’ve said many times, I think it’s the track that will dictate it,” he said.

“The priority is always the team, but if they can compete for an important position in the championship, it will undoubtedly be the track that will tell who is ahead.

“And sometimes I think it’s not just about driver talent or driver capacity. A driver can be very unhappy and have damage, reliability issues or crashes.

“So I don’t think we need at this stage, and we certainly won’t have a number one or number two policy. We’ll just discuss it based on positions on the track when it’s time. ”

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, fights Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, fights Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

Photo By: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Sainz enjoyed an impressive first campaign for Ferrari in 2021, taking 5.5 points and two positions ahead of Leclerc.

However, Binotto doesn’t think there is any reason to think Leclerc underperformed this year, as he believes the Monegasque driver was unlucky at times.

“For Charles I have to say that I am very happy to see the progress he has made this season,” he said.

“I think somehow he has always been very quick in qualifying, even in the latter part of the season where Carlos may have challenged him a bit more.

“I think we should not forget that in the season there are a few examples, namely Monaco and Budapest, where he did not score. I think in those cases he was unlucky as a driver.

“Without that, and it’s hard to say where he would have finished, but maybe at least 40 points are missing from his standings. So without that I think again he would have been a lot further in the championship.

“So that’s why I can only rate his season positively again. He has also learned how to handle the tires, how to control the racing situations and the race pace. So I’m pretty happy with the progress he’s made.”

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