Formula 1 legend Alain Prost has backed Ferrari's decision to impose a clear driver pecking order ahead of the 2019 season. Mattia Binotto kicked off his tenure as the Maranello team's new boss by declaring that Sebastian Vettel would have "priority" over newcomer Charles Leclerc.
Binotto later clarified his comments, insisting that Leclerc would be free to fight Vettel on-track, but added that the German "is our champion".
Leclerc, 21, said in Barcelona that Binotto's call was "logical" and Prost, a former Ferrari driver and now Renault team advisor, agrees.
"It was a courageous decision," the four-time world champion is quoted by France's Le Figaro.
"In a team like Ferrari, it's extremely difficult to win a championship if you let both drivers compete on equal terms."
Prost praised Binotto's "good management style" in establishing the hierarchy now before the 2019 season even begins.
"It's more cautious and better to say it from the beginning," said the Frenchman. "It clarifies the situation and it's also more comfortable for Charles."
As for Renault's drivers, though, Prost says there is no such pecking order.
"There will inevitably be a moment when one will go faster than the other, but they are big boys.
"It's fine that they fight on the track but it must be in the best possible state of mind. There must be no problems."