Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto insists it's still too early to give team orders

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‘Our drivers are free to fight’: Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto insists it’s still too early to give team orders, despite Charles Leclerc pulling 38 points clear of team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr after the opening three rounds of the F1 season

  • Charles Leclerc has emerged as the F1 championship leader after three rounds
  • Leclerc is already 38 points ahead of his Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr 
  • Team principal Mattia Binotto has ruled out team orders for Ferrari drivers yet 

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto insists it’s still too early in the 2022 season to consider team orders between its Formula 1 drivers.

Charles Leclerc has emerged as the championship leader, having won two of the opening three races, and is already 38 points ahead of his team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr.  

Leclerc is a clear title candidate at this early stage of the campaign while Sainz Jr DNF in Australia last weekend has put him slightly adrift of his Scuderi team-mate – despite picking up two podium finishes previously.

Ferrari says it's still too early in the 2022 F1 season to consider team orders between Charles Leclerc (right) and Carlos Sainz Jr (left)

Ferrari says it’s still too early in the 2022 F1 season to consider team orders between Charles Leclerc (right) and Carlos Sainz Jr (left)

Despite the racers current positions, Binotto has made it clear that both drivers remain clear to go for wins right now.

‘It’s only three races which have been done now,’ the Ferrari chief told AutoSport. 

‘There are still 20 races left, hopefully 19 or 20. So the championship is still very long.

Team principal Mattia Binotto (pictured) has made it clear that both drivers can go for wins

Team principal Mattia Binotto (pictured) has made it clear that both drivers can go for wins

‘Our drivers are free to fight, and I am really looking forward and enjoying that they are battling for a good place, and first place, if possible.’

The Italian team are very much the team to beat after the opening three rounds of the Formula 1 calendar.

Ferrari’s F1-75 appears to be thriving in all conditions and circuit types so far this campaign, much to the delight of Leclerc.

Ferrari's F1-75 appears to be thriving in all condition and circuit types so far this season

Ferrari’s F1-75 appears to be thriving in all condition and circuit types so far this season

‘It is a very strong car for sure,’ he said ‘I think until now it’s fitting my driving well. I understood the car very early in the season and I think that is helping me for now.

‘This has been a good surprise. But yeah, we need to keep pushing obviously. For now, it’s going extremely well.’

Former F1 driver Eddie Irvine has previously urged Ferrari to consider using team orders already at this stage of the season with Leclerc opening up a big gap at the top of the drivers’ standings.

Former F1 driver Eddie Irvine (pictured) has urged Ferrari to consider using team orders

Former F1 driver Eddie Irvine (pictured) has urged Ferrari to consider using team orders

‘This is a problem for Charles because Sainz, who is number two, can occasionally find himself in front of him,’ Irvine told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

‘If I were Mattia (Binotto) I would give precise orders, as in my day, because beating Verstappen is already tough before you then have also a team-mate who can snatch points away from you. 

‘As for (Sergio) Perez, in normal conditions he can’t beat Max.’

Next up for Ferrari is its home race at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix this weekend.

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