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Ferrari insist Leclerc and Sainz "completely free to fight"

Ferrari insist Leclerc and Sainz "completely free to fight"

F1 News

Ferrari insist Leclerc and Sainz "completely free to fight"

Ferrari insist Leclerc and Sainz "completely free to fight"
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has insisted Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz are "completely free to fight" due to their understanding of team spirit.

Leclerc and Sainz battled closely in a drag race from turn three to turn four on lap one of the São Paulo Grand Prix, with the Spaniard squeezing his team-mate down the inside line.

The Monegasque slid down the inside and would eventually finish fifth, one place ahead of Sainz as Ferrari extended its lead over McLaren in the race for third in the constructors' championship to 31.5 points.

Assessing the on-track battle, Binotto said: "It's great to see them fighting on track.

"It was a good start in the first corners. They have been very safe in making sure they don't damage themselves, which is important for me and the team.

"The two drivers are really behaving very well, and from my side, to manage it, it's a lot easier when the drivers understand the team spirit.

"At the moment, I can only confirm those two guys really understand it very well."

"Our drivers are completely free to fight.

"I've always said the priority is the team and we will do whatever we can to maximise the team points.

"Apart from that they are free to fight at the moment, and hopefully in the future it will be so good they will be free to fight each single race."

Sainz "more and more confident" at Ferrari

Sainz has impressed with the Scuderia since making the switch last winter from McLaren, out-performing other drivers who changed teams.

Asked if his driver had progressed more than the team overall, Binotto replied: "I don't think I can judge it relative to the team.

"I can judge what Carlos is doing and he is doing very well.

"Since the very first race, he has integrated very well into the team and making his own contribution, which was very important.

"And since the very first race, he has developed further.

"I look at this race he was capable of being very aggressive at the start, on the first lap, and he is doing it well, where he has always been strong in past seasons.

"I think he is getting more and more confident with the car, with the strategies that we are applying, and he is delivering to his best in terms of performance."

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