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Leclerc compromises explained by Binotto

Leclerc compromises explained by Binotto

News


Leclerc compromises explained by Binotto

Leclerc compromises explained by Binotto

Ferrari team principal said it would have been an unnecessary risk to pit Charles Leclerc in an attempt to hunt the fastest lap bonus point at the Australian Grand Prix, while explaining the team's decision to keep the Monegasque behind an evidently slower Sebastian Vettel in Melbourne.

Vettel and Leclerc came home fourth and fifth respectively in Melbourne, a far cry from pre-season predictions which had pegged the Scuderia as the team to beat.

Instead, Mercedes dominated around Albert Park, Valtteri Bottas taking victory from Lewis Hamilton, and Max Verstappen getting the better of Vettel for the final podium spot.

Leclerc pulled up into DRS range of Vettel late in the race, but was asked to hold back and he remained a comfortable distance to his teammate, despite holding enough time over sixth-placed Kevin Magnussen to pit and attempt to score an extra point.

Explaining Ferrari's hesitance, Binotto said: "We had the window to pit Charles for new tyres and go for the fastest lap, but I think as I said, whenever you pit, it may be a risk.

"I think it was more important for us to bring the car home and score the points. There are sometimes races where you are not the best but it is still important to score points, and at the end, that was our choice.

"We will eventually review the decision, but the decision was for that reason."

Vettel aid he had no pace in his car t fight when quizzed on the team orders handed down to Leclerc, the first evidence of Binotto's pre-season vow to give his more experienced driver the priority n the early stages of 2018.

"When Seb pitted and put the Medium tyres, he didn't start with the grip that he was expecting, and he was attacked by Verstappen, we decided to hold his position on the track," Binotto said.

"It did not make any sense for us to attack Vettel with Leclerc.

"We decided to bring the car home. He was managing the tyres until the end, and I think 10 laps to the end, we decided not to take any risks and hold positions, and bring the cars home scoring points."

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