Sebastian Vettel has praised Mattia Binotto’s calming influence as Ferrari’s Formula 1 chief through a difficult start to the 2019 season for the Italian team.

Binotto took over as Ferrari team principal from Maurizio Arrivabene in February after most recently serving as the F1 operation’s technical chief.

Despite a difficult first half of the season that has seen Ferrari fail to win any races or live up to its impressive form in winter testing, Vettel feels that Binotto has helped maintain calm at Maranello and keep the team united.

“Well first of all, I don’t think it’s fair to compare one versus the other, because every year the situation is a bit different,” Vettel said when asked how life under Binotto at Ferrari differed to that with Arrivabene.

“But certainly one thing that I think we have achieved so far as a team this year - and obviously Mattia is our team principal, our leader - is to remain calm.

“I think the situation hasn’t been straightforward and easy. We haven’t won every race. That’s the most straightforward situation you can have. We are far away from that and we didn’t have the first half of the season that we were looking for, yet the focus is there from the entire team and everyone remains calm.

“I think Mattia is doing really well at keeping the team together, at keeping everyone calm and at the same time reminding everyone of where we want to go and need to go, and leading the team.

“Obviously his role is different to his role in the past, but the team is around him and the team we are is very similar to the organisation 12 months ago. So not much has changed and I think that’s a positive.

“From where we are, for sure we need to improve, and we need to get stronger as a team. But he’s giving us the right lead.”