Ferrari chiefs discuss Sebastian Vettel’s future and F1 2019 lessons
Ferrari manager Mattia Binotto insists Sebastian Vettel stays”central to our project” and will sit down with all the four-time world winner next year to go over his future F1 plans.
Upon speculation that Ferrari are thinking of a move for champion Lewis Hamilton to get 2021, Vettel future in Maranello is uncertain with the from contract at the conclusion of 2020 whereas team-mate Charles Leclerc is on a deal.
Vettel had been since coming at Maranello at 2015 Ferrari lead motorist however Leclerc won races and outscored the champion in his first season in crimson, and Binotto has confirmed they’ll start on an equivalent footing next year.
But the Ferrari team principal has worried that Vettel stays invaluable to them.
“Seb is an integral driver for us, he’s essential to our project,” said Binotto at Maranello. “He’s part of the group now since many decades. He knows the team.
“He’s got a lot of experience. He’s been four times world champion. Therefore no doubt that this kind of driver is crucial for our job, is essential to our undertaking.”
Vettel’s 2019 campaign was punctured by errors and off-form evenings relative to Lelerc, especially in the first half of this year when Binotto claims the 32-year-old was”uncomfortable with all the car” and its stability under braking.
Nevertheless, the Italian believes Vettel”responded very well from the second half” of 2019 and his”analytical” approach paid off in his performances, particularly in race conditions.
Nevertheless, Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri did admit:”Charles’s performance had clearly had an impact”.
“It’s inevitable that if you’re the world champion, this young kid comes on and contains incredible season.”
Ferrari made clear that they will not rush into deciding on their 2021 line-up, heading to a year when the majority of the game’s biggest names – Vettel, Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo – are at the final years of their contracts.
“I think that using Seb we will need to sit down to talk about ways we set to understand his aims for the future,” explained Binotto. “I believe we need to see our strategy developing next calendar year.
“I think we must see as well the functionality and how he can match with the car and his motivation behind your future.
“So, it’s not about his mistakes or not. It’s really an issue of how he can see himself as far as his potential and the way we do see our lineup”
A lot of the attention on Ferrari’s 2019 was rather set on the battle for supremacy between Vettel and Leclerc with their goal of a title challenge to Mercedes coming off the rails.
Binotto believes they were correct to manage the motorists to maximise the group’s interests, but concedes they made”errors” at particular races such as China, when Leclerc was told to allow Vettel through early on, and in Russia, whenever they agreed slipstreaming tactics between the drivers from the front row.
Leclerc and vettel also flocked to race-ending effect at the year’s penultimate race in Brazil – an incident which Camilleri considers will actually help the drivers are managed by the team next year.
“I feel a lot was written. You should know that behind closed doors they really get on very well,” explained Camilleri. “There is great esteem between these.
“They joke collectively. And there a fantastic relationship. Clearly, they’re both very competitive. And what I said before. Brazil was a nightmare. But now the air was cleared. And I think you need a crisis to place the goalposts at the suitable place.
“And I believe they realised that Ferrari had been the large suffer within this crash they created. And I really think moving forward, it gives Mattia a much superior method of managing thembut also leaves them substantially more responsive because they realise they screwed up”
Binotto affirmed”there will not be a few one” at the beginning of both 2020 but made clear they could still improve how they handle the competitive dynamic.
“I believe we could be stronger next year. We finally have meetings with all the drivers before the race to go over situations, what might occur, what are the group’s strategy,” he said.
“And believe me, that that type of meeting that in the start of this season was filled with embarrassments and hard to control. But we are getting used to it. And by the close of the season, it turned into comfortable increasingly more, so that we are becoming used to it like a team.”