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Binotto explains how Vettel-Leclerc fight will help Ferrari

Binotto explains how Vettel-Leclerc fight will help Ferrari

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Binotto explains how Vettel-Leclerc fight will help Ferrari

Binotto explains how Vettel-Leclerc fight will help Ferrari

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto believes the increasingly competitive battle between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc will only benefit the Maranello outfit. Vettel began the season with "priority" over Leclerc, but the Monegasque has challenged that with fine on-track performances.

Leclerc finished behind Vettel in the season-opener in Australia, albeit only due to Ferrari ordering him to remain behind the German, having caught him late in the race.

In Bahrain, Leclerc vastly outperformed his world champion team-mate, qualifying on pole and racing to a certain victory until an engine issue let him down.

"Charles was faster everywhere," Vettel admitted after a race which saw him spin and finish fifth.

The German says he is struggling to feel confident with the rear of the 2019 car.

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"We took a real step forward in Bahrain compared to Melbourne," he added. "But it was not like Barcelona, when I could do what I wanted."

Vettel stuck around in Bahrain after the race for the post-grand prix test, where he said simulations of "different phases of the race" were done.

"The information we collected should be useful for China," he said.

Regarding the Bahrain spin, team boss Binotto backed Vettel but admitted that managing the fight between the quadruple world champion and Leclerc will be challenging.

"Of course as team boss now I have to manage the drivers, and that was not the case before," he told Speed Week.

"But I think it's even a good thing, because it's important to have the right fighting spirit in the team, and that includes the drivers."

But at present, it is the criticised Vettel who is in greater need of support than Leclerc.

"For the driver, it is important to feel the confidence of the team," Binotto acknowledged. "We give everything to make him feel good.

"But more important than that, in my opinion, is a strong car. After all, everything works better with a good and fast car.

"It also has to be a car that suits him."

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