Vettel said:”He will place a great deal of pressure on me the entire year.
“It will be very snug. He’s extremely talented. I am sure we have tough and tight battles but more than that I really expect we have a good deal of fun together.”
At the race, the two men narrowly avoided a collision at the start as Leclerc tried to maneuver Vettel around the exterior the first corner, also Leclerc needed a trip across the bud later during his first stint.
However, in the 2nd stint, after having a later pit stop compared to Vettel, Leclerc shut a 12-second gap to the four-time world winner before requesting on the radio perhaps the team wanted him to keep position, not attempt and pass on his team mate. He was told to remain in fifth place.
“If people judge his entire weekend, then it was a fairly strong one,” Binotto said. “His qualifying wasn’t perfect; he is conscious of it. He drove well all through Q1 and Q2, maybe not absolutely in Q3, but broadly speaking he had a good weekend and also his next stint he was performing well”
At the start of the race , Vettel had said the two Ferrari drivers were”free to race”, even though Binotto had said the German would have”priority in certain situations”.
Asked why they had asked Leclerc to keep position within the final laps, Binotto said:”I don’t think it was a truly decision – it wasn’t a difficult one.
“Sebastian was managing his pace because of poor grip and bringing the vehicle home. Charles did a great moment stint. However, 10 laps to go there wasn’t any reason to accept risks. We weren’t fighting for the first position, but fourth and fifth. Scoring points has been the most important priority today.”
Ferrari’s performance over the weekend was a disappointment, once they had appeared to own the fastest car in preseason testing.
“Clearly we are overlooking some thing,” said Vettel. “today we don’t have a response. We will need to reunite and have a good appearance. But I am sure we will find some thing as we understand the vehicle is better than that which we’ve experienced.
“We’ve a good car, we understand it – this weekend we didn’t and overall we were not competitive enough however we all shall be back”