Ferrari boss: Leclerc and Sainz will be allowed to race, but support role may be required

Ferrari and fuel partners Shell are said to have developed a blend that will mitigate the loss of power that is expected in 2022.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has reiterated that should his drivers, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, find themselves battling for the championship this year, the team will not interfere.

Sainz signed for Ferrari from McLaren ahead of the 2021 season, and was out-qualified 13 times in 22 races by his Monegasque team-mate.

However, his four podiums to Leclerc’s one meant that the Spaniard ended the championship fifth – two positions ahead of the 24-year-old.

READ: Ferrari to unveil 2022 car less than a week before pre-season testing

When Leclerc signed for the Scuderia in 2019, Binotto immediately told his drivers that four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel would be the lead driver, but the 2017 Formula 2 champion established the upper hand over the German and ended the season 24 points in front of the now-Aston Martin driver.

When Sainz was bought in to replace the 53-time race winner, the Italian confirmed that the Maranello outfit would be adopting a different approach, affirming that there would be no preference given to either the 27-year-old or Leclerc.

Ferrari have reportedly overcome the 20-horsepower deficit that is said to come in 2022, and there is speculation that the 90 percent fossil fuels and 10 percent ethanol blend developed together with Shell will help the Scuderia return to championship contention.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc at the 2021 Mexico GP.v1

Should that be the case, Binotto affirms that the team goal must take precedence over personal glory, but he will let his drivers go at it should they be involved in a championship fight.

“In terms of drivers, as we have often said, that the track that will dictate it,” Binotto told

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“The priority is always the team but, no doubt, if they can compete for an important position in the championship, that will be the track that will tell who’s ahead.”

Leclerc also had the beating of Sainz in the race battle in 2021, out-performing the Spaniard 14 times.

However, a mix of collisions and reliability hitches cost him relative to the 27-year-old, and the Italian is aware that these factors also play a part in a race for the championship.

“Sometimes, I think it’s not only about driver talent and driver capacity,” explained Binotto.

“A driver can be unfortunate, and having damages, reliability issues, crashes.

READ: Ferrari’s battle with McLaren didn’t lead to compromises on 2022 car

The 52-year-old emphasises that it will be on-track performances that dictate which of his drivers will be ahead in 2022.

“So I don’t think that we need, at that stage certainly, we will not have a policy of number one or number two, but we simply discuss it based on positions on track whenever it will become.”

Ferrari will unveil their 2022 car on 17 February, six days before the commencement of the first pre-season test in Barcelona.

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