Binotto ‘Pretty Sure’ Charles Leclerc Can Challenge Lewis Hamilton

The Ferrari team principal also said he has no regrets over the team’s failure to sign Sir Lewis Hamilton in 2019.

Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc at Ferrari - Formula1news.co.uk

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has said he is “pretty sure” that Charles Leclerc would be able to take the fight to Sir Lewis Hamilton if the Scuderia are able to provide him with a competitive car.

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In the same interview, Binotto said he believes Ferrari’s 2021 driver pairing of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz was a good call despite it being their youngest line-up in over five decades.

“I think Sebastian is a great person, a great driver, and we had some great moments together – but I think it was time to take a different decision and to move forward,” Binotto told Sky Sports this week.

“We will have a very young line-up in the future, the youngest Ferrari line-up since 1968, but those two drivers, Charles and Carlos, are very strong, very talented, and even though they are young they have some good experience in F1. So I’m very happy for the choice.”

Binotto also reiterated that Ferrari won’t go into the 2021 season with a designated number one driver, so Leclerc and Sainz will be “free to fight”.

In 2019, it was reported that Ferrari had tried to sign Sir Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton later confirmed that such talks did indeed take place, but they never materialised.

Binotto has said he doesn’t regret how things played out, and he believes Charles Leclerc can challenge the seven-time World Champion if Ferrari can provide him with a competitive car.

“I don’t think there will be regret because at the end when we took some decisions, we took them thinking they were the right decisions and today we have a fantastic driver like Charles where we invested a lot as Ferrari.

“I think he’s got a lot of talent. If he’s got the right car, I’m pretty sure he can challenge Lewis Hamilton,” he added.

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