(Motorsport-Total.com) – The new boss of the Ferrari Formula 1 team Frederic Vasseur insists that there will be no number one driver in the team this season, but on the other hand he will not hesitate to “take action” if necessary. .
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Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will enter their third Formula 1 season as Ferrari teammates in 2023.
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz both won races for Ferrari last year, but Leclerc finished the season second in the championship, 62 points ahead of Sainz, who admitted he had a hard time adapting to the Ferrari F1-75 as quickly as his teammate.
Rumors of a team-up between Leclerc and Sainz emerged as early as last season’s Round 4 at Imola, after Leclerc won two of the first three races to take an early lead at the top of the championship. However, Ferrari insisted that they never want to focus on one driver.
Vasseur: We will not hesitate
Vasseur took over at Ferrari earlier this month and previously worked with Leclerc during the Monegasque’s rookie season at Sauber in 2018. In his first press conference since being appointed team boss on Thursday, Vasseur made it clear that Ferrari will not enter the season with the No. 1 designated driver.
“We have two very good drivers who can both do the job,” says the Frenchman. “We have the opportunity to give them the same car, the same design and the same support. It is clear that the goal is to win with Ferrari and Ferrari.”
“There won’t be number one or two, but if we have to take action I will do it. It doesn’t matter if it’s for one or the other, but when I’m on the podium. In the season if I have to do something, I’ll do it.”
Leclerc’s new contract is ‘not a priority’ for Vasseur
While both Leclerc and Sainz are under contract with Ferrari until the end of the 2024 season, Leclerc’s future could become a talking point after Vasseur’s arrival. After a strong start last year, the Monegasque looked like championship contenders before Ferrari lost out as the season progressed.
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Leclerc finished the year with more points than any other driver, but his championship aspirations faded as Ferrari struggled to match Red Bull’s pace, with unreliability and a number of strategic mistakes playing their part.
However, Vasseur says his main focus is on the team’s performance on the grid and not on the future of Leclerc, whose contract has not yet expired: “I don’t want to bring this topic to the table today, I think it would not end. Not a good way to start a partnership like this,” says Vasseur.
“We have to focus on the sporting side to get results. And if both sides of the table are happy with the situation, then we will continue. But I don’t think that is the priority today. We have a good relationship. And we will have time to discuss it.”