Sebastian Vettel believes it is “pointless” discussing potential team order scenarios at Ferrari publicly ahead of the new Formula 1 season as he begins to work with new teammate Charles Leclerc.

Ferrari F1 chief Mattia Binotto said last month that Vettel would be given “priority” in certain situations at the start of the season given his greater experience while Leclerc settles in to life at the team.

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Binotto added that he hoped Leclerc would be on-pace quickly enough to cause a headache for Ferrari as the team bids to end its 11-year title drought in 2019.

Asked about scenarios where he would be given priority via team orders, Vettel said that it had been made clear that he and Leclerc were free to race each other despite Binotto’s comments.

“I don’t think there’s much point going into certain situations. I think it’s very clear,” Vettel said.

“I think Mattia also made it very clear that we are free to race to race each other. I think Charles will do his best to help himself and to help the team, and that’s the same for me: I would do my best to help myself and to help the team.

“At the end, we’re racing for Ferrari, and that means we try to get Ferrari back to where we’ve been trying to get it back to in the last couple of years. That’s the main priority and the rest is a long, long season.

“I think it’s a bit pointless at this point to start pointing out certain scenarios.”

Leclerc will become the youngest driver to start a race for Ferrari in more than 50 years when he makes his debut for the team in Australia on Sunday, commencing his second season in F1.

The Monegasque driver has got up to speed quickly, matching Vettel for pace through pre-season testing, but he is eager to learn plenty from his four-time world champion teammate.

“I’m still young, but I’m pretty sure that you always learn with our sport, and it’s evolving quite quickly, so there’s always new things you can do better,” Leclerc said.

“On the feedback side, there’s still a lot of things I can learn, from Seb especially, because he’s very experienced and very strong on that point.

“I’ve got a good example next to me and I’ll try to get better as quick as possible on that side."

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