Ferrari Formula 1 team principal Mattia Binotto reckons Carlos Sainz has what it takes to become a world champion with the Scuderia.

Sainz will move from McLaren to join Ferrari for the 2021 season as Sebastian Vettel’s replacement alongside Charles Leclerc, with the four-time world champion leaving the Maranello outfit when his contract expires at the end of the year.

Speaking to Spanish publication Marca, Ferrari boss Binotto is convinced that Sainz will prove to be a hit at the team, even if it takes him time to find his feet in his new surroundings.

“We would be happy if he competes at the highest level, like Charles, and helps Ferrari achieve the global goal of the constructors' title,” he said.

“I think the first year will be more complicated because he must first understand the car and the team, that is why we have not signed a one-year contract with him.

“But I am sure it is very fast so he can finally be world champion.”

Despite suggestions that Ferrari identified Sainz as the ideal candidate to play a back-up role to Leclerc in 2021, the Spaniard has stressed his contract included nothing about team status.

Binotto reiterated that Ferrari has no plans to implement number one and number two status within the team next season, nor does he envisage any problems brewing up between Leclerc and Sainz.

“The first thing is to have two good drivers, team spirit is what is important, making sure that Ferrari comes first,” Binotto explained.

"And I think it will be the track itself that dictates who is first and who is second. It has always been this way even in the time of Michael Schumacher, who started every year at the same level as his teammate, but in the third race it was clear who was the first.

“I don't think there will be hard moments between the two, everything will go smoothly, and if there is one, it is my job, but you have to be positive,” he added.

“Charles is getting stronger and the more time passes the more he understands the importance of being part of Ferrari. What happened in Brazil [collision between Vettel and Leclerc] was bad luck and they are races, things that can happen.”

 

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