Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc have more “trust and confidence” with each other and Ferrari heading into the 2020 Formula 1 season, according to team boss Mattia Binotto.

Vettel and Leclerc’s first year as teammates at Ferrari was marred by some controversial flashpoints involving disagreements over team orders and a collision at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

But Binotto insists the pair have learned from their mistakes and believes going through the experiences was “important for both of them”.

“What happened last year was important for both of them,” Binotto told the official Formula 1 website.

“We discussed and had some clarity as to what I’m expecting. The team interest is the top priority, and the constructors’ championship is a key element.”

Binotto confirmed Vettel and Leclerc remain free-to-race despite their clash in Brazil late in 2019 but warned that Ferrari may still use team orders in the best interests of the team.

“They are free to race, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still apply team orders in the interests of the team,” he explained.

“But if the team is doing well, the drivers get the benefit of it. They are two smart and clever guys, they are getting to know each other better.

"What happened last year, not only in Brazil, but also in Russia when we tried to manage team orders. These situations gave us the opportunity to discuss and when you discuss in a transparent way, you get to know each other better.

“I think we have built more trust and confidence between us as a team, between the drivers, and that will be helpful in 2020."

 

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