‘That was more than Binotto ever said’: Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz fired warning

Under the new leadership of Fred Vasseur, Ferrari will be looking to mount a more meaningful title charge this year.

When the regulations underwent a major change at the start of last year, Ferrari came on leaps and bounds from the year prior to become one of the fastest teams on track.

The Scuderia stormed to a one-two finish at the season opener in Bahrain, while Red Bull suffered a dramatic late double DNF.

Ferrari eventually finished some way short of Max Verstappen and Red Bull in both championships, with a number of reliability issues and strategic errors costing the team a huge haul of points over the course of the season.

Following the disappointing end to the season, Ferrari parted ways with their team principal Mattia Binotto and replaced the Swiss with Alfa Romeo’s Fred Vasseur.

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The Frenchman is expected to shake things up at Ferrari this season and Sky Sports pundit Ted Kravitz is optimistic about the team’s title chances this year.

“I’ve got high hopes for Ferrari,” he told Sky Sports F1.

“I think they can be up there sustaining a championship challenge with Red Bull all season long. I’d like to think it’s going to be very tight and go down to the last race between what will potentially be Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen.

“I don’t think it will but it would be something interesting. Ferrari have got a new boss in Fred Vasseur, who isn’t coming out with any lines that can grab hold of.

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“But one thing he did say, about whether Ferrari have a number one driver or not, is that Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have equal equipment and an equal chance to go for the championship until which time he decides it’s in Ferrari’s best interests to favour one driver for the championship.

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“Then he will make that call. That was more than Binotto ever said about focusing on one driver for the championship.”

Ferrari’s performance this season could be key to the future of the team, as rumours have emerged that Leclerc could walk away from the team at the end of 2024 when his contract expires, should the team not be able to match his ambitions.

With Vasseur at the helm, Leclerc will likely see how the 2023 season pans out under the new leadership before making any concrete decisions about his future.