Mattia Binotto reveals if Ferrari will use team orders in favour of Charles Leclerc after Carlos Sainz DNF

Ferrari team-mates Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are second and fourth, respectively, in the Drivers' Standings.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in Miami 2022.v1

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has no interest in intervening between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in the championship fight just yet.

The pair went at it during the sprint race in Austria in round 11, and they were allowed to race as long as they kept it clean, which they did.

In doing so, however, they left Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to run off into the distance and take all eight points.

The week before in Silverstone, Leclerc was waved through past polesitter Sainz having been significantly quicker than him for much of the afternoon, but it took an awfully long time for the Spaniard to be asked to move over.

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Because of the delay, there was a small gap between the drivers when a late Safety Car was deployed, and the Scuderia did not feel that they had time to pit both their drovers, so they left Leclerc on track while pitting Sainz.

The 27-year-old would go on to win the race, but Leclerc, on old tyres, slumped to fourth behind Sergio Perez and Sir Lewis Hamilton, costing Ferrari valuable points.

With Leclerc now 27 points ahead of his team-mate in the Drivers’ Standings following his win in Austria while Sainz failed to finish, Italian media have been pleading with Ferrari to prioritise Leclerc, but there are no plans to do so right now.

“The fastest car on track is the one which is prioritised,” said Binotto.

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“We believe by doing so, certainly at this time of the championship, [it] is the best thing we can do.”

However, this does not mean to say that, if and when the championship reaches crunch time, the drivers will not be shuffled around.

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“If, later in the championship, there will be one of the two drivers that got most of the opportunities, certainly we may try to give him full priority, but it’s not the situation right now,” added Binotto.

“First, what we are trying to do each single race is [to] try to maximise the team points.

“Obviously, there [are] two championships, the Constructors’ and the Drivers’. 

“By maximising the team points, I’m pretty sure we are as well maximising the drivers’ opportunity by taking points [from] the opponents.”

While the 52-year-old has no problem watching his drivers race, he reminds Leclerc and Sainz to keep their focus on beating Red Bull and Mercedes.

“The opponents should not be Charles for Carlos and Carlos for Charles, but certainly Max, Lewis and the others,” explained Binotto.

“So, we need to cope with it, but still I’m pretty happy to see those two drivers fighting.”

Leclerc is 38 points behind leader Verstappen heading into the French Grand Prix this weekend, while Red Bull hold a 56-point lead over Ferrari in the constructors’ battle.