Mattia Binotto is convinced that Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz form the best driver pairing on the grid in F1, and one that will deliver many successes in the future.
Ferrari currently sits third in the Constructors’ championship but on an equal level – 163 points – with McLaren, its top midfield rival.
Sainz and Leclerc have contributed respectively 83 and 80 points to their team’s tally, but the Monegasque – who scored two pole positions, in Monaco and Baku – has been arguably less fortunate than his teammate, having failed to start his home race while he was also forced to retire at the first corner as a result of the Hungarian Grand Prix carnage.
But overall, Binotto is delighted with his drivers’ results in a season in which the Scuderia has taken a significant step forward compared to last year’s dismal campaign.
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“We had great opportunities to win this season,” said Binotto in Hungary. “The first was in Monaco and for the reasons we know, it didn’t happen.
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“On the other side, Carlos is integrating very well, and is improving race by race. Let me say that he is a benchmark for Charles as well, pushing him as well when conditions are more difficult.
“It shows how important it is to have two good drivers scoring points for the constructors’ championship. I’m very happy with that. I’m looking really forward because I’m sure those two guys will give us a great success.”
Many expected Sainz to struggle alongside the talented Leclerc, a two-time Grand Prix winner, in his first year with the House of Maranello.
But the former McLaren charger has adapted almost seamlessly to his new environment, and continues to improve with each massing weekend.
However, by his own admittance, Sainz is still looking to put together the perfect “full-on” weekend with his team
“I am happy with the way I am integrating myself into the team and with the speed I have had in the car since the first race,” commented the Spaniard.
“I always feel the rhythm on any circuit this year, although I do not think it is my strongest season in F1 because I have lost many points and opportunities in different situations.
“Good speed in qualifying and in the race, but for some reason some things didn’t go as planned.
“I haven’t had a full-on weekend as a Ferrari driver and I used to do that very well before.”
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