Leclerc's job is to get priority over Vettel

Charles Leclerc says his job in 2019 will be to change who Ferrari favours in the "50-50" situations that four-time Formula 1 champion Sebastian Vettel will initially be prioritised in.

Leclerc's job is to get priority over Vettel

Leclerc has been promoted to Ferrari after one season with Sauber but his team principal Mattia Binotto has made it clear that Vettel will be prioritised early in the season if the situation requires it.

Ahead of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix Leclerc reiterated that he "completely" understood Binotto's position.

"In any team there needs to be a number one and a number two in a 50-50 situation," said Leclerc. "But then also on my side it's my job to turn things around.

"It's not going to be easy, I have a lot to learn, but I'll push for that."

During pre-season testing Binotto moved to clarify that Leclerc is free to race Vettel but Ferrari would act if there was an "ambiguous" situation as it is counting on Vettel to lead its title push.

This has mainly been interpreted as moving Leclerc aside to give Vettel track position, but could also mean Vettel gets priority over upgraded parts.

Read Also:

Leclerc said he will only know what the "50/50" situations he has referred to in the moment, and Vettel said it was "pointless" to hypothesise.

"It's very clear, and Mattia also made it very clear, we are free to race each other," said Vettel.

"Charles will do his best to help himself and help the team and that's the same for me.

"We're racing for Ferrari and that means we try to get Ferrari back to where we've been trying to get it back to for the last couple of years.

"That's the main priority. It's a long, long season and I think it's a bit pointless at this point to start pointing out certain scenarios."

Leclerc wants to use his time alongside Vettel to learn from his vastly experienced teammate and already identified Vettel's feedback as an area to study.

He also said during testing that Vettel knowing the team so well was an advantage, but said a a team-building weekend had helped him learn more about his new team members and believes he has grown up as a driver since his rookie season.

"I did many weeks in Ferrari['s Maranello factory] to try and get to know as much as possible the team, and also did a small team-building weekend just before coming here, which has been very helpful to know new faces," said Leclerc.

"I definitely feel more mature than last year. I've learned a lot last year, it was a big season, and I will learn many more things.

"But I feel more ready than last year."

shares
comments
Motorsport.com predicts F1 2019

Previous article

Motorsport.com predicts F1 2019

Next article

McLaren in "better starting position" than recent years

McLaren in "better starting position" than recent years
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Charles Leclerc
Teams Ferrari
Author Scott Mitchell
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021