Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has assured fans that the team will not employ a number one driver policy in 2022.
Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc helped the team to third in the Constructors’ Championship in 2021, as the pair ended fifth and seventh, respectively, in the Drivers’ Standings.
Sainz joined the Maranello outfit from McLaren for the start of the 2021 season, and his deal runs out at the end of 2022.
Binotto has previously said he is keen to discuss the Spaniard’s future over the winter, but in the meantime he has moved to calm speculation that there will be a number one driver next year.
Binotto gave his driving pairing an “eight” last season, and seems to want to put an end to the culture at the Scuderia that places one driver on a pedestal over the other.
He maintains that the leader of the team will be determined by the drivers themselves.
“We have Charles with a long-term contract and with Carlos we will discuss the extension of the agreement during the winter,” Binotto said.
“He did very well during his first season and I’m happy with how he integrated and behaved. We will certainly sit down and try to find a the right solution. Whether it will be a year or two will depend on the discussions. But it will be a simple discussion.”
Continuing, he said: “Who will be first or second driver will be decided on track. Our priority is the team, if one can compete for an important position, the track will tell us.
“And it will not depend solely on the talent or skills of the drivers, it can always be affected bad luck, with accidents or car technical issues. But there will not be a policy of the first and second driver.”
Sainz and Leclerc managed five podiums between them in 2021, but the team has failed to win a race since 2019.