Leclerc, Vettel 'explosive'? Binotto opens up on managing Ferrari pair

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto dismissed Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc as an “explosive” driver pairing, and remains confident of managing the pair going forward.

Tensions have simmered between Leclerc and Vettel through much of the season, but bubbled over in Brazil as their wheels touched and caused significant damage, forcing both to retire.

It left Ferrari stewing over a first double DNF since the Singapore GP in 2017, but Binotto held clear-the-air talks with his drivers, who put on a united front once again at the Abu Dhabi GP.

Binotto began the 2019 season by giving “priority” to Vettel – something highlighted as a potential error – but the team boss is confident in his suitability for the role.

“We have a great driver pairing, not an explosive one,” Binotto told Auto Motor und Sport. “Our drivers are very fast, very ambitious.

“Nevertheless, what happened in Brazil should not happen. Even if it was just a small contact, it had a big impact.

“Outside the car, Sebastian and Charles are good with each other. They know that the collision was unacceptable and talked about it in private.

“They know the way we want to go, and they know that the team always comes first.

“There is a good atmosphere. The perception from the outside is deceptive. They talk to each other, they exchange information, they are open. I do not think it’s difficult to manage the two.”