Brawn: Binotto handling 'new' driver situation for Ferrari 'well'

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Formula 1 motorsport director Ross Brawn has praised Ferrari's handling of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc in the opening three races. 

The new line-up at the Scuderia has already seen plenty of drama in 2019 with talk of team orders echoing at each Grand Prix and even more so after Sunday's race in China.

While some have criticised what has been seen as favouritism towards Vettel, despite Leclerc's strong pace, the former Ferrari technical director believes the right approach is being taken.

“Team principal Mattia Binotto finds himself having to manage what is definitely a new situation for Ferrari, in the shape of two drivers fighting at a very high level,” Brawn said speaking after Sunday's race.

“For now, Mattia is managing the situation well.

"On one hand with the talented young Leclerc, while managing the valuable resource that is Vettel, who as a four-time world champion has shown himself capable of dealing with pressure in the past.

“This is definitely a tricky year for Sebastian and the podium in Shanghai will have been a confidence boost, while Charles has shown great maturity in accepting team decisions that are not easy to digest.”

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The problem Ferrari have is the issue of their drivers is distracting from and also somewhat causing their disappointing results, having been outclassed by Mercedes in Australia and Shanghai.

“The first three races have confirmed that if Ferrari wants to challenge Mercedes everything has to be perfect at all levels: performance, reliability and teamwork," Brawn noted.

“That’s what Binotto and his guys have to do and, knowing Mattia, I am sure he is aware of that and will devote all his energies to ensuring it happens.”

Indeed, already 57 points sit between the two teams in the Constructors' Championship while 31 points separate Vettel from Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers' standings.