Leclerc form not enough to cancel Vettel's Ferrari 'priority'

Charles Leclerc has come closest to delivering Ferrari‘s first win of 2019, but it is still not enough to wipe out the “priority” given to team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

Team principal Mattia Binotto has maintained from pre-season that Vettel will be given precedence in ’50-50′ situations and Leclerc was given team orders at several early races to benefit the German.

Leclerc defied team orders in Bahrain to come close to victory, which he was denied by engine trouble and the Monegasque again came close in Austria last time out, only for Max Verstappen to pip him at the last.

Vettel crossed the line first in Canada, but had the win taken from him by a stewards’ decision, and leads Leclerc by 18 points in the drivers’ championship – a crucial factor in Binotto’s rules remaining in place.

“What I think we said at the very start of the season is that first we are here to get maximum points for the team,” Binotto said after Leclerc qualified three positions ahead of his team-mate in third place for the British GP.

“Sebastian is still the one ahead in the championship between the two drivers at the moment so if there would be any 50-50, certainly we may still give the advantage to Sebastian.

“I think as the championship is going on Charles is certainly proving that he is a very fast driver.

“He can be on pole as he has been and [if] he has better opportunity to win races we never stop him winning races.”