Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel have “a great respect” for each other and can be an effective partnership for Ferrari in the future, according to CEO Louis Camilleri.
The two Ferrari drivers collided on track in Brazil towards the end of a season that had included team order spats and controversial incidents in Italy, Singapore and Russia. With Leclerc having recently signed a new five-year contract to stay at Maranello but Vettel being the more experienced of the pair, Camilleri believes the dynamic is one that can be made to work by team principal Mattia Binotto.
“Charles’ performance had obviously had an impact (on Vettel’s form),” Camilleri is quoted as saying by the official F1 website. “There’s a great respect between them.
“I think you sometimes need a crisis to put the goalposts in the appropriate place. And I think they both realized that Ferrari was the big sufferer in this collision that they created (in Brazil). And I actually think going forward, it gives Mattia a much better way of managing them, but also renders them significantly more receptive because they realize how they screwed up.”
Binotto himself believes Vettel’s struggles during 2019 were in part down to the car, but also to the challenge Leclerc presented, and was encouraged by the response from Vettel after a tough first half of the season.
“(Vettel) has been uncomfortable with the car at the start of the season, certainly with the braking instability,” Binotto said. “The challenge for him has been a good benchmark (in Leclerc) as well, because having such a fast teammate gave him some headache.
“He reacted very well in the second half … (Leclerc) was coping a bit better with the type of issues because of his driving style.”