Ferrari will use team orders in a 'clear situation' despite equal status

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Ferrari is prepared to use team orders in a "clear situation" despite their drivers starting 2020 with equal status, Mattia Binotto says.

Last year began with Sebastian Vettel getting priority, as Charles Leclerc settled in following his move from Sauber, but quickly the Monegasque started to threaten that arrangement, notably ignoring an instruction to pass his teammate in Bahrain.

As the year progressed, Leclerc gradually earned his way to the parity he enjoys now with Vettel, but looking ahead, Binotto insists there remains one priority when racing regardless of the driver status. 

“I think he [Charles] has already proven to be ready. I think he did a fantastic and great season last year and he has reached the same level of Sebastian as well in terms of final results,” he commented via “I think he has proven he can do it.

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“It is right that they are on the same level to start in 2020 but I think they know as well the team is the first priority so team orders may still be there.

“I am not saying that they are free to race with no team orders, so there might be team orders for the benefit of the entire team, but it has to be a clear situation.”

With both drivers free to race, comes the risk of more collisions like that Vettel and Leclerc had last year in Brazil.

But Binotto believes the lessons learnt from that day at Interlagos will avoid a repeat.

“I think last year has been very useful for both of them and myself, to know each other and to understand how we should behave and what should be the rules within the team and what is the priority – that the team comes first,” Binotto explained.

“I think that the two drivers now know each other better too and they are behaving well. I am very happy at the level of discussions we got and the level of contribution to the car and to the team.

“I think, generally speaking, there is not much to tell them because they understand perfectly what should be the way to behave on track.”