Ferrari expects better Vettel/Leclerc relationship after 2019 flashpoints

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Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto expects a better relationship between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc after occasional tensions in 2019.

Last year, the Monegasque's arrival from Sauber led to a case of master versus apprentice but it was the youngster who got the upper hand, scoring more wins, more poles and finishing ahead in the Drivers' standings.

As Leclerc challenged Vettel's lead driver status, it ultimately led to the pair colliding in Brazil but Binotto believes that moment was actually good for Ferrari to establish boundaries.

“What happened last year was important for both of them,” he told Formula1.com.

“We discussed and had some clarity as to what I’m expecting. The team interest is the top priority, and the Constructors’ Championship is a key element.

“They are free to race, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still apply team orders in the interests of the team."

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With a year as teammates, the Ferrari boss also thinks Vettel & Leclerc will react differently if situations that occurred in 2019 happens again.

"They are two smart and clever guys, they are getting to know each other better," Binotto continued.

“What happened last year, not only in Brazil but also in Russia when we tried to manage team orders.

“These situations gave us the opportunity to discuss and when you discuss in a transparent way, you get to know each other better.

“I think we have built more trust and confidence between us as a team, between the drivers, and that will be helpful in 2020.”

What is for sure is the upcoming season is a crucial one of the future of Ferrari, as Leclerc tries to establish himself as not only the faster driver but also as a lead driver who can drive car development while continuing his own progression.

“Charles knows that the second year in a top team has more pitfalls, but he is a boy who learns so quickly that I am sure he will be able to manage the pressure in the best way," Binotto commented.

Interestingly, however, while it was Leclerc adapting better to last year's car that helped him gain the edge, the Swiss chief thinks the SF1000 could be better-suited to Vettel.

“I think so, at least from the first indications of Barcelona,” he explained.

“Having said that, one of the best skills of the great drivers is to be able to adapt to the car you have available and to get the most out of it.

“For our part, we must try to help them achieve this, which we do with both drivers.”

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