Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has given both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz a score of eight out of 10 for their respective 2021 seasons.
And you have to say that score is more than justified for both drivers, who have combined fantastically well in their first season together and helped Ferrari progress on their road to recovery by cementing a P3 finish in the Constructors’ Championship.
Ferrari can proudly boast that they have one of the strongest line-ups on the grid and Binotto is delighted with how the duo have worked together over the past 12 months.
“If we evaluate the performance of the pair we saw that they pushed and helped each other,” Binotto said, as quoted by the Italian edition of Motorsport.com.
“I think one helped the other, even in those races when one of the two didn’t immediately find the right feeling with the track and the set-up.
“We are happy with Carlos and Charles as a pair, they understood the needs of the team in a year that wasn’t easy, they understood the team’s orders, like when they were asked to reverse positions, something they always did without ever arguing.”
Looking at the drivers on an individual basis, Binotto has seen Leclerc progress further it what was his third season with the team.
“Charles as a driver has grown further,” Binotto summarised.
“His talent and speed are unquestionable, as is his ability to put in important and impeccable laps in qualifying.
“He has also grown in his approach to racing, in his understanding and management of the tyres, as well as in his management of the race, also from the point of view of strategy.
“So we have seen a Charles who has made several steps forward compared to last year.”
As for Sainz, Binotto highlighted the Spaniard’s consistency and praised the team for helping him settle in so quickly following his move from McLaren.
“I think his results speak for themselves,” the Ferrari boss declared.
“In 20 of the 22 races he has been in the top 10, managing to finish every Grand Prix. We chose to have him with us precisely because of his ability to score points, and he has confirmed this quality on the field.
“Then he was very fast and confirmed a great ability to integrate into the team, a process in which I also give credit to the team for the work done in the winter on the simulator and beyond.
“So I’m happy for Charles’ continued progress, which has confirmed a significant growth, as well as for Carlos’ performance, which has allowed him to maintain the expectations of the eve of the race.
“For both of them the vote is 8.”
Binotto’s final score of both Leclerc and Sainz was not too far from PlanetF1’s score; the pair scored 8.5 in our end-of-season ratings.
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