Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says Sebastian Vettel has driven to a higher standard so far in 2019 when compared to last year. Vettel has not truly challenged for a race win in any of the six races so far this season.
Vettel won three of the first seven races of 2018, including a Canadian GP victory from pole position, but repeating the trick in Montreal this weekend seems a stretch.
Vettel suffered a spin in Bahrain while battling Lewis Hamilton, an error which plagued his efforts in the latter part of last year, and has generally seemed off the boil in most races.
However, Binotto says Vettel's approach to racing has been commendable so far.
"In Sebastian I see a calm, motivated Formula 1 driver," Binotto told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Apart from the mistake in the fight against Hamilton in Bahrain, he drives more solidly than in 2018. I am satisfied with him.
"Perhaps he understood last year that if the car does not allow more than fifth, then he must drove home in fifth place."
Vettel's new team-mate Charles Leclerc's performances have perhaps burned brighter than Vettel's, but the 21-year-old is 25 points behind in the drivers' championship, having made costly errors in Azerbaijan and Monaco.
Binotto said: "Charles is a fighter.
"In Baku he made a mistake in qualifying, and in Monaco he should have been more patient behind [Nico] Hulkenberg. But he gets better and better, also with the engineers.
"He shows a great willingness to learn and is aware of his potential. I expect great races from him."
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