Vettel, Leclerc will be under Ferrari team orders again in 2020

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says the team remain convinced that issuing team orders to Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc remains the best way to manage their grand prix efforts in 2020.

Binotto gave Vettel “priority” over Leclerc ahead of the 2019 season, a situation which caused headaches from the off as the Monegasque reneged on team orders in Bahrain, and would have won that race if not for engine failure.

Vettel was happy enough with Leclerc’s actions in that race, but the four-time world champion was enraged by his team-mate’s refusal to give him a tow in qualifying for the Italian GP, before returning the favour by not honouring a pre-race agreement in Russia.

Binotto’s leadership came under the microscope as a result, but Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri recently claimed that a desire for stability would see Binotto remain in place and the man himself remains confident in his methods.

“Certainly it was not an easy exercise and everybody can do better,” said Binotto. “But I think the attempt of managing them since the very first time in Australia, is something different.

“It is often said we should have let them race in the very first race. We are still very convinced that trying to manage them is the best way in order to score team points when you get to the end of the season.

“And we believe that if you are optimising the team points at the end as well, you also optimise what may be the outcome for the drivers. So we were trying to manage them in the very first race.

“I believe that we can be stronger next year. We now have meetings with the drivers before the race to discuss scenarios, what may happen, what can be the team’s strategy.

“And the reason for needing to manage them is high because both of them are good drivers and need to be respected as individuals because both of them, when starting the race, they have one objective – which is not beating their teammate, but being first under the chequered flag.”