Leclerc was Ferrari’s leading driver in their failed bid to end their long wait for an F1 world championship in 2022, but the Monegasque ultimately had to settle with runner-up spot behind Max Verstappen

Following Frederic Vasseur’s appointment as team principal in the wake of Mattia Binotto’s resignation, there were suggestions that Leclerc would be favoured due to his strong relationship with Ferrari’s new F1 chief. 

Explained: New rules for F1 2023 season

But speaking to media for the first time since his arrival at Maranello, Vasseur stressed there will be no number one driver policy at Ferrari, at least to begin with. 

“It is a clear situation,” Vassuer said. “We have two very good drivers and they are both able to do the job.

“We will have the capacity to provide them with exactly the same car, structure and support. The target is to win with Ferrari and for Ferrari and there will be no number one and number two.

“But if at one stage we have to take action, I will take action and it doesn’t matter if it is for one driver or the other.”

Vasseur ‘convinced’ Ferrari ready for title push 

Vasseur has been tasked with delivering Ferrari’s first F1 world championship since 2008. 

The Italian outfit’s 2022 title challenge ultimately collapsed due to a combination of glaring strategy blunders, costly reliability failures and driver errors, but Vasseur is confident Ferrari have everything in place to enjoy a successful campaign. 

“I'm really convinced that Ferrari today, and, for sure, my experience is limited to the last two weeks, but we have everything to win,” he explained.

“We have to put everything together to do a good job, but we have everything to be able to win.

“You can have a look on the results of the last decades that the wheel is always running, and it's just a matter of continuous improvement for me.

“If we are doing a better job than the others in a couple of months or years, then we will be able to win. Nothing is set in stone. If you have a look at some teams that were in a very dominant situation a couple of years ago, they are nowhere today.

“It means that you don't have to take this kind of direction to say OK, it was like these last decades or the last 20 years, and it will stay like this the next 40 years.

“F1 is a changing world and we just have to be focused on the job, on the performance, and everything is possible.”