Sebastian Vettel insists the management changes at Ferrari do not reflect a revolution and believes a complete overhaul to its Formula 1 operation would have been “madness”. 

2019 marks something of a new era for the new-look Italian outfit with key changes being made at Ferrari ahead of the new season. 

Mattia Binotto has replaced the ousted Maurizio Arrivabene as team principal, while Ferrari’s highly-rated protege Charles Leclerc has been promoted to partner four-time world champion Vettel following an impressive rookie season. 

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“It is not a revolution,” Vettel said. “The team is the same, but now Mattia is team principal. The team and foundation is the same. 

“It’s not rocket science - we have had a winning car the last couple of years, so it would be madness to change everybody and move too many things around. 

“We have had our difficult moments, we all move forward and it is a big challenge from Mattia. 

“From my side, I’ll try to support him as much as I can, and I think he tries to support the team as much as he can. He’s been around a long time, he knows everybody. 

“In this regard, there’s no news. He used to being in that position and having the responsibility. It’s days like this, when we start like this, which is good.” 

Vettel said he could sense “things have changed” within the team and believes the atmosphere at the Maranello squad is at a new high heading into 2019 as it looks to bounce back from successive title defeats at the hands of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton

“The atmosphere in the team is tremendous,” he added. 

“Everyone is so much pushing all the time. I think we’re heading into quite a year, because I think already the starting point is not bad. 

"From here on, there is just so much we can improve, and that’s an important thing. It’s a long season ahead of us, but everyone is working flat out, and the whole team and the spirit of the team is fantastic. I’m looking forward to a massive year.” 

Ferrari showed promising pace and impressive reliability during the opening week of pre-season testing in Barcelona, with rivals Mercedes and Red Bull both noting strong early signs coming from the Scuderia. 

Asked if he felt like things were coming together for a successful title bid in his fifth year at the team, Vettel replied: “Overall, the progression is there. We’re getting closer together year by year. 

“I hope this year, we can have a lot of fun, win a lot of races and fight for the championship - that’s what we want, but at this point it’s very far away. 

“If we can maintain the level of enjoyment we found on the track and the smiles on peoples faces the last couple of months, I’m positive and hopeful for the future.” 

 

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