Leclerc pushing Ferrari engineers "hard" already, says Binotto

20-03-2019 10:30
by Bobby Vincent
F1 News
Leclerc pushing Ferrari engineers hard already, says Binotto

Charles Leclerc has already established a "good starting point" following his Ferrari debut in Australia, and the youngster is already pushing its engineers "hard", according to team boss Mattia Binotto.

Leclerc was signed to replace the ageing Kimi Raikkonen, who incidentally went to Alfa Romeo Racing (formerly Sauber) in Leclerc's place.

The 21-year-old Monegasque driver managed a P5 finish in Melbourne - but it could've been more if it wasn't for team orders that told Leclerc to slow down and hold position rather than challenge his new team-mate Sebastian Vettel - who was struggling for pace.

Asked by Autosport to sum up Leclerc's first weekend as a Ferrari driver, the boss of Scuderia said: "I'm happy, I'm happy with the way he's behaving as a team player.

"Not only as a driver, but he's very helpful for the team. He is very involved, trying to do his best, pushing the engineers hard to try and get even them to improve themselves and to have a better car.

"If we judge his entire weekend, it's a pretty strong one. His quali(fying) wasn't perfect, he's aware of it, but I think he drove well also in Q1, Q2.

"Maybe not perfect in Q3, but generally speaking he had a good weekend. His second stint was also performing well. I'm happy with the way he's approached the first race and it's a good starting point."

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