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Binotto admits surprise at Leclerc's speed

Binotto admits surprise at Leclerc's speed

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Binotto admits surprise at Leclerc's speed

Binotto admits surprise at Leclerc's speed

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto admits he was initially surprised at just how fast Charles Leclerc was, and continues to be, in his first season with the team after being promoted from Sauber.

At Russian Grand Prix qualifying, Leclerc claimed his fourth pole position in a row, becoming the first Scuderia driver to do so since Michael Schumacher in 2001.

Ferrari overall, and Leclerc in particular, are displaying tremendous pace on the straights, and Binotto says the Monegasque still has more to come as he is still learning.

“It surprised me how fast he was, at first. He is very, very fast,” the team boss said of his initial thoughts of Leclerc.

“That is something that is important for the team, counting on a driver who is so fast.

“He is learning very fast, how to manage his tyres, how to manage his distance.”

The Prancing Horse have won three races in a row since the summer break, with their new power unit leaving Mercedes and Red Bull trailing in behind due to its pace.

Binotto insists the main goal of the 2019 car’s development was speed on the straights.

“That's certainly an advantage we've got” he admitted.

“I think we developed our car to be fast on the straights. We said that since the very start of the season. We've got certainly less drag, less downforce.

“The latest package is working well, we are losing less on cornering now. The overall balance is positive.”

When asked about the positive atmosphere within the team currently, Binotto explained that confidence is high as the team feel they can contend every GP.

“The team is certainly very motivated to do well at each single race. I think it is great for us to come to every single race to battle for the victory,” he said.

“Anything we do this season will be beneficial to the next one, having stable rules.

“It is a matter of learning the car, learning the package, learning the tyres.”

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