Boss says Ferrari 'loves' and has lots of confidence in Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto. <i> Image: AFP / Andrej Isakovic </i>
Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto. <i> Image: AFP / Andrej Isakovic </i>
Andrej Isakovic

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto has issued a strong vote of confidence in Sebastian Vettel.

The quadruple world champion began 2019 as the clear number 1, but is now making regular mistakes while 21-year-old newcomer Charles Leclerc rises in status.

But Binotto insists that the crisis-struck German's 2020 contract will be honoured.

"The whole team loves and supports him," the Italian told Germany's Sport Bild.

"The Ferrari fans very much celebrated him in Milan at our 90th anniversary event, and that was after Spa, where he did not have his best day."

Last week, Binotto ruled out signing up Max Verstappen to be Leclerc's next teammate, declaring that Ferrari needs "a great first driver and another driver who can win races and score points".

And now he tells Sport Bild: "Sebastian is a leader.  He helps us to develop in the right direction and keeps coming up with new ideas and possibilities.

"Sebastian drives us to get better and better," Binotto added.  "He is not just a driver, he's an important part of the team with a great team spirit.

"You could see this in the team photo after his disappointment in Monza when everybody clapped and shouted 'Seb!  Seb!  Seb!"

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