Ferrari defend 'very important' Vettel amid ongoing scrutiny

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Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto says Sebastian Vettel remains "very important" to the team despite recent scrutiny.

Questions have been asked about the German's future at the Italian team as they struggle to forge a championship challenge against Mercedes.

Also, Vettel has been prone to occasional errors this season, with problems in qualifying meaning Charles Leclerc has led the fight for Ferrari.

"It certainly is not easy for him, no question," Binotto said of the four-time champion's situation to Auto Bild.

"He has this dream to become world champion with Ferrari and we support him to realize this dream.

"He understands his role in rebuilding the team. He is very important to me because he has a lot of experience and because he has the expertise and great skills.

"On the one hand, he is a team player, on the other hand, a leader who has great enthusiasm at work," the team boss added.

"He also enjoys his job if he does not win, which is not so easy, but he knows that this enthusiasm is a key to winning in the future. And he also knows: nobody can win alone, we can only do it all together. The team is the basis."

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Binotto also defended the errors Vettel has made at key times, ranging from Hockenheim last year, all the way to the mistake which led to a penalty in Montreal.

"It was always racing situations where Sebastian was at the absolute limit - sometimes over it as well," the Ferrari chief claimed.

"Our drivers have to drive even more risky right now to keep up. In Canada, for example, it was not easy for Seb to stay ahead of Hamilton, who probably had the faster car.

"[But] the future is always more important than the past. What is important is that he feels that we trust in him and build on him and we do."