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Vasseur – Ferrari F1 drivers have equal standing heading into 2023



Vasseur Ferrari F1 drivers

Fred Vasseur, the new head of Ferrari’s Formula 1 team, has stated that neither Charles Leclerc nor Carlos Sainz will be given special treatment and that the team’s success will be the top priority.

Vasseur took over as the head of Ferrari’s Formula 1 team at the beginning of January, succeeding Mattia Binotto who stepped down from the role of Team Principal after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the previous year.

The Frenchman joins a Ferrari team that made a strong push for the championship in the early part of 2022 but saw their efforts fade later on in the season.

Charles Leclerc led the drivers’ standings until the Spanish Grand Prix, but by the end of the year, he barely held on to second place ahead of Sergio Perez.

Carlos Sainz had a slow start to the season, and as a result, he was behind his teammate from the early rounds of the championship.

Even though Sainz’s performances improved as the season progressed, it would have been logical for the team to give priority to Leclerc in his pursuit of the championship, at least until it was mathematically impossible for him to win.

Vasseur stated that this approach is the one he will be adopting.


“This is a clear situation, it’s the same everywhere,” Vasseur said when asked if he would permit his drivers to compete against each other.

“We have two very talented drivers and they are both capable of performing well, and we will have the resources to provide them with the same car, the same support and structure.

Vasseur  Ferrari F1 drivers

“What is clear is that the goal is to win with Ferrari, and for Ferrari.

“There will be no designated number one and number two driver, but if the situation requires it, we will take action accordingly.”

“It doesn’t matter if it’s for one driver or the other, but if at any point during the season, we have to make a decision, then I will do so.”

Vasseur added that this could result in the team issuing team orders at any point in the season, not just towards the end of the season.

“It’s not a decision that we need to make in June or September,” Vasseur explained.


“You make a decision when it becomes obvious that one driver is in a much better position than the other, and not before that.

“It could be two races before the end of the season, or it could be earlier.”

In their two seasons together, Leclerc and Sainz have each had one season where they performed better than the other. In 2021 Sainz was the highest-placed Ferrari driver in the championship and in 2022 it was Leclerc.

Leclerc has had more race wins, while the majority of reliability issues occurred on Sainz’s car last year.

However, Sainz was able to secure his first race win at the British Grand Prix last year with a strong performance.

It was a turning point for him and from that point on, he became a more consistent match for Leclerc.

Vasseur holds Sainz in high regard, which is why he tried to sign him for Sauber during his previous role. This could explain his reluctance to appoint a clear lead driver.


“The goal is to win the championship, and if you want to win, you have to beat Red Bull,” Vasseur said.

“Regarding Carlos, when I was at Renault, I initiated a discussion with him and his management to bring him on board and when I was at Sauber, I tried to sign him again, but unfortunately, it did not work out.

“So, I thought, ‘Okay, if I want to attract Carlos, the best way is to join the team where he is,’” he added jokingly.

“Our relationship has always been strong. I have confidence in him, and he has demonstrated in recent years that he has the potential to be a victorious member of the team, which is crucial for our success.”

“There will be no distinctions between a first and second choice. The team’s structure is well-defined, but each member must still fulfill their responsibilities.”

“If the situation arises where I need to make a decision on behalf of Charles or Carlos, I will do so without hesitation.”

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