Binotto Dismisses Myth Surrounding Leclerc-Sainz Ferrari F1 Duo

Published 08/10/2021, 3:12 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Styria, Austria – June 25, 2021 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action during practice REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger


During the early part of the 2021 F1 season, the attitudes of both Ferrari drivers, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, looked quite contrasting.

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While the Monegasque constantly showed aggression against his rivals, Sainz looked quite ‘rational,’ meaning the Spaniard always had a calculative approach to the races and hardly fought against other drivers.

Hence, this led to many wondering whether the two were the right pairing for Ferrari. But how wrong have they proved this myth, with both the Scuderia drivers showcasing brilliant on-track racing to secure hefty points for the team!

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And Ferrari’s team principal, Mattia Binotto, isn’t short of appreciation for the duo either. The Italian felt that the Sainz-Leclerc team-up is the best on the 2021 grid. Not only have they abided well with team orders, but the two have also bonded well off the track as well.

Binotto denies the difference between Sainz and Leclerc

In an exclusive interview with Motorsport, Binotto opened up why ‘aggressive’ and ‘rational’ aren’t the right words to describe Sainz and Leclerc.

I am convinced that we have the best couple in Formula 1 today. They are two talented, fast, young drivers, an aspect that gives us guarantees for the future. And they also have experience,” he said.

I don’t think that an ‘arrembante’ and a ‘rational’ is the correct definition. Carlos also made mistakes for being an arrembante. He too wants to be as fast as possible.”

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 14, 2021 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc arrive for testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Binotto further ridiculed claims that state Leclerc as a rather aggressive driver. “Charles has great potential. He’s a guy we’ve known for a long time. And I think he’s rational too,” Binotto continued.

He’s been able to manage long-distance races relying on his talent but also using his head. He’s an intelligent driver, and he’s improving a lot. His ability to handle tires.” (Translated via Google Translate)

Sainz is very lucid in communications: Ferrari boss

Binotto revealed that Ferrari had done a series of analyses before arriving at the conclusion of recruiting Sainz as the team’s second driver.

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I’m not surprised at how well he’s doing. When we offered him the contract we had done a lot of analysis and we had seen that he was undoubtedly a fast guy. Consistent in the race and capable of bringing many points to the team and also very lucid in communications,” he said.

Formula One F1 – British Grand Prix – Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone, Britain – July 15, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. during a promotional photoshoot for the unveiling of the new 2022 F1 car REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

Overall, Ferrari are looking much settled since the arrival of Sainz. What’s more, he is already matching Leclerc’s performance on the track, which, in turn, has gifted the team with strong points in the championship.

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With 163 points already in the bag and still a long way to go in this season, can Ferrari cross the 300-mark for the first time in two years?

Watch Story: Biggest Crashes From 2020 Featuring Leclerc, Vettel & Grosjean

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Rohit Kumar

1141 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.

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