Ferrari boss changes his mind on team orders as Charles Leclerc handed huge boost

Fred Vasseur previously claimed that neither Charles Leclerc nor Carlos Sainz would be favoured at Ferrari this season.

When Fred Vasseur was announced as Ferrari’s new team principal over the summer, some fans began to fear for Carlos Sainz.

During his F1 career so far, Vasseur has often preferred to operate with a clear number one and number two driver, as could be seen with Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu at Alfa Romeo last season.

Carlos Sainz really came into his own in 2022, proving that he can beat Charles Leclerc and even picking up the first win of his career at Silverstone, making the notion of become a second driver a real kick in the teeth.

Vasseur was quick to ease these fears following his appointment however, telling the media that Ferrari would certainly enter the 2023 season with both drivers on a level playing field.

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After only one race, Vasseur appears to have gone back on his word, with reports now claiming that the development of the SF-23 this season will be catered to Leclerc’s wants and needs.

Leclerc experienced a disaster start to the season as an energy store related problem forced him to retire from the Bahrain Grand Prix while running in the podium places.

Sainz was unable to hold off the charging Fernando Alonso and was forced to settle for P4 in the first race of the season, capping off a miserable start for Ferrari.

It has been reported that Fred Vasseur has recognised that Leclerc’s talent and speed require the car to be catered to him, allowing Ferrari to get the best possible results.

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There have also been rumours that Leclerc’s retirement from the Bahrain Grand Prix was down to human error rather than a technical malfunction, leaving the Monegasque driver furious with his team.

Leclerc was reportedly not even on speaking terms with previous team principal Mattia Binotto by the end of last season and Vasseur will hope to avoid a repeat of this situation this year.

Leclerc’s contract with Ferrari expires at the end of next season and the team will be hoping that they can convince the 25-year-old to sign an extension with their performances this season.