Leclerc or Sainz? Binotto Lists the Condition for Enabling Ferrari’s ‘Number 1 Driver’ Policy

Published 12/29/2021, 3:34 AM EST
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


In Formula One there is always a concept of a number one and a number two driver in a team. They are often given team orders to change the course of the race. However, Ferrari doesn’t think they would need to give the number one driver title to either of Charles Leclerc or Carlos Sainz.

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The Italian team considers it as too early to decide and agrees that it would give team orders depending on track positions and results.

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Ferrari team boss will decide when team orders come into play

Teams have a tendency to label their drivers as number one and two. It helps them to navigate which driver could get them the best result during a Grand Prix weekend. However, for the Maranello-based team, they wouldn’t use it so soon. However, if they did, it would depend on the results and track position.

Formula One F1 – Monaco Grand Prix – Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco – May 20, 2021. Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto in the FIA Press Conference FIA/Handout via REUTERS

As quoted by Motorsport.com, Team Principal, Mattia Binotto accepted, “Right now we don’t need such an election and we certainly won’t have a number one or two policy. When the time comes we will simply discuss it depending on the positions on the track and the results.” (Translated from Turkish via Google)

How did the Italian team perform in 2021?

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The Maranello-based squad had a disastrous year in 2020, scoring just 131 points and ending up sixth in the teams’ standings. In order to redeem themselves in 2021, both drivers pushed themselves to the limit. 

Formula One F1 – Mexico Grand Prix – Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Mexico City, Mexico – November 6, 2021 Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in action with Carlos Sainz Jr. during practice REUTERS/Henry Romero

Ferrari finished the season with 323.5 points thanks to Sainz and Leclerc. They finished the season in third place in the constructors as a result of this. With the 2022 season only a few months away, the Italian team is satisfied with its accomplishments thus far and plans to compete for podiums and victories next year. 

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What do you think Ferrari’s chances are as they prepare for the 2022 season? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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Arpit Gomes

1249 articles

Arpit Gomes is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier’s Institute, he is a big fan of McLaren and their driver Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo. Arpit always looks forward to the paddock moving to Spa and drivers dealing with the exciting Eau Rouge corner as well the straight at Monza.

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