Formula 1
Formula 1
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
Race in
46 days
09 May
Next event in
64 days
23 May
Race in
81 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
95 days
13 Jun
Race in
103 days
27 Jun
Race in
116 days
04 Jul
Next event in
120 days
18 Jul
Race in
137 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
151 days
29 Aug
Race in
179 days
05 Sep
Race in
186 days
12 Sep
Race in
193 days
26 Sep
Race in
207 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
211 days
10 Oct
Race in
221 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
236 days
31 Oct
Race in
243 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
263 days
R
Saudi Arabia GP
05 Dec
Race in
278 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
284 days

Binotto: Leclerc can be a "clear leader" like Schumacher

Mattia Binotto is confident Charles Leclerc can be a “clear leader” for Ferrari in Formula 1 like Michael Schumacher was, believing there are similarities between the two drivers.

Binotto: Leclerc can be a "clear leader" like Schumacher

Leclerc joined Ferrari for the 2019 season after an impressive rookie season with Sauber, having been part of the Italian marque’s junior programme since 2016.

The Monegasque driver won two races in his first season with Ferrari, prompting the team to sign him to a long-term contract running until 2024.

Team principal Binotto said there were comparisons that could be drawn between the rebuild taking place at Maranello upon Michael Schumacher’s arrival at the team in 1996, and what is currently taking place around Leclerc.

“I often compare it, I think there are similarities, no doubt,” Binotto said on the Beyond the Grid podcast.

“Ferrari at the time, 1995 to 2000, was investing. We were investing as we are investing today, investing on technologies, but investing on people as well, employing young people and young engineers.

“If I look at Ferrari in the last years, we have employed a lot of young engineers, which today are starting to become our foundations.

“There also was a leader as a driver, Michael at the time. I think today, we’ve got Charles. Obviously he’s not as experienced as Michael, because he’s not a world champion, while Michael was.

“We’ve got a clear leader on-track as a driver. I think that’s important as well. I think there is the commitment of the entire company to try to build a winning cycle in the future.

“Charles is a lot younger to Michael at the time. He needs, as often, to develop as a team. The success of Ferrari tomorrow will be somehow dependent on the way he will behave as a leader himself.

“But I think that while Michael was already a leader, Charles is developing as a leader, but is developing well.”

Read Also:

Ferrari has struggled through the 2020 season due to a lack of engine power and aerodynamic weaknesses with the SF1000 car.

But Leclerc has produced a number of stand-out performances, scoring two podium finishes to sit sixth in the drivers’ championship with almost triple the points of teammate Sebastian Vettel.

Binotto felt that Leclerc had driven better through 2020 than in 2019, when he finished fourth in the championship.

“This year, he drove even better than last year,” Binotto said.

“I think with a difficult car as he’s got this year, he has been strong, consistent, he has been capable of adapting himself to the various track layouts, trying to extract the most potential of the car.

“The way he progressed was the way now he understands the tyres and can manage the tyres, not only on the single qualy lap where he is very strong, also on the race pace.

“As a driver he developed a lot. I think he is stronger, compared to what he was. That is experience, but not only as a driver, but I think as a man, he is growing.

“He is very linked and connected and committed to the team, to Ferrari, and I think that our people feel it very well.

“I like the way he is part of our family. He is really the right way of acting, and I appreciate his commitment.”

shares
comments

Related video

Sato joins AlphaTauri for Abu Dhabi F1 test

Previous article

Sato joins AlphaTauri for Abu Dhabi F1 test

Next article

Alonso in, Vettel out: Who can do F1’s young driver test?

Alonso in, Vettel out: Who can do F1’s young driver test?
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Charles Leclerc
Teams Scuderia Ferrari
Author Luke Smith
Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown? Prime

Can Mercedes' W12 retain the team's crown?

Replacing Formula 1's fastest car was never going to be an easy feat for Mercedes. Amid the technical rule tweaks to peg back the W12 and its 2021 rivals, the new Mercedes challenger will remain the target to beat

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era Prime

The pointed note that starts Ferrari's Leclerc vs Sainz era

Ferrari is starting its post-Sebastian Vettel age by welcoming Carlos Sainz in alongside Charles Leclerc. But while Sainz has a tough challenge to match his new teammate, Ferrari is also sending a message that previous intra-team spats must end

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine Prime

The mantra Ocon must follow to challenge Alonso at Alpine

OPINION: It's been an uneasy ride for Esteban Ocon since his F1 comeback - and fresh challenges lie in wait as he's joined by double world champion Fernando Alonso in the newly rebranded Alpine team. STUART CODLING sets out a roadmap to success…

Why Haas is willing to sacrifice its 2021 F1 season Prime

Why Haas is willing to sacrifice its 2021 F1 season

Every Formula 1 team is facing the same difficult decision this season: how do you split precious aero development time between the current car and the all-new 2022 project?

The big questions of F1 2021 - Karun Chandhok Prime

The big questions of F1 2021 - Karun Chandhok

After an unprecedented season last year, there are plenty of questions and storylines for the upcoming Formula 1 campaign. Sky Sports F1 pundit Karun Chandhok gives his verdict.

Formula 1
Mar 1, 2021
How McLaren F1’s new investors have already made an impact Prime

How McLaren F1’s new investors have already made an impact

The deal McLaren concluded with MSP Sports Capital last year which will help the cash-strapped Formula 1 team pay for much-needed infrastructure upgrades, also points toward the future for F1 itself, says GP Racing's Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Feb 27, 2021
Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game Prime

Why Verstappen isn't interested in the hype game

In a pre-season where Red Bull has been unusually quiet, Max Verstappen has also been guarded about the team's fortunes in 2021. Even after trying the RB16B for the first time at Silverstone, the Dutchman was careful to manage expectations

Formula 1
Feb 26, 2021
The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes Prime

The pros and cons of F1's 2021 rule changes

In the strategy for grand prix racing's future, 2021 represents a significant step towards the goal of closer racing and a more level playing field. That's the theory behind the latest raft of changes, but will they have the desired effect?

Formula 1
Feb 24, 2021