Ferrari F1 boss on Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz preference

Ferrari F1 boss Frederic Vasseur has spoken out on giving one driver special treatment for an entire season.

Ferrari team principal Frederic Vasseur has explained that the team will continue to work with both drivers in the same way in 2024 as they did in 2023, with both drivers to receive “equal treatment”.

During the recently completed season, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were treated as equals.

Vasseur opted against having a number one and number two driver, a decision he is seemingly pleased that he made.

Both Leclerc and Sainz were pretty much equal throughout 2023, resulting in the duo being separated by just six points in the Drivers’ Championship.

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Whilst the duo were treated as equals, Ferrari did introduce a number one driver per say in particular races, when a very positive result was on the cards.

An example of this is at the Singapore Grand Prix, where Charles Leclerc blocked George Russell which helped Sainz win the race.

Reflecting on 2023, Vasseur is pleased with how well Sainz and Leclerc worked together, proving that his decision to treat them as equals was the right call to make.

“We showed this season that we have more than equal treatment between the drivers,” Vasseur told media including RacingNews365.

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“I remember perfectly that one year ago in the same room, I had tons of questions about Charles number one and Carlos number two and ‘blah blah blah’.

“We showed on some occasions, I think Singapore was the best example, when Charles agreed to start with Soft [tyres] to jump [George] Russell and block Russell.

“When we asked Charles to slow down Russell, he did it. It meant that they did a very good job together.”

Looking ahead to 2024, Vasseur sees no reason as to why he should change the team’s approach with Leclerc and Sainz.

The Frenchman wants both drivers doing a “good job”, rather than one being prioritised over the other.

He is fully intent on continuing to give Sainz and Leclerc the “same level of freedom” in 2024, meaning neither will receive the status of number one driver.

“It’s not that we have a number one [driver] that’s a bigger asset. We have two drivers, they are doing a good job,” Vasseur added.

“I think that Carlos was more than strong when he came back after the summer break, he had a very good sequence with Monza and Singapore.

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“It’s probably also part of the good results of Charles at the end of the season to have these kinds of positive emulation. I will continue in this direction, I don’t want to have one good asset and another one [that’s] not a good asset.

“We have two cars, two drivers. One of the good points of the season is that they scored almost the same number of points.

“I will consider this last year in the same way, to give them exactly the same level of freedom and the same approach in the strategy of the race.”