Mattia Binotto is upset with Charles Leclerc only finishing seventh in the Drivers’ Championship, saying that he deserved to be way higher.
Leclerc was one of the losers of the business end of the season. Having started the Abu Dhabi GP in fifth position ahead of rival Lando Norris and teammate Carlos Sainz, he slipped to seventh and let Sainz and Norris take P5 and P6 respectively.
The result marked the first time the Monegasque was beaten by a teammate in Formula 1. Although he ended the season only six points away from Sainz, given the seasons the two drivers had, one might struggle to make a compelling case for the two-time race winner. Unless of course, you are his team principal.
Binotto was upset with Leclerc finishing seventh, and explained why he could have and should have finished as high as fourth.
“I’m very happy to see the progress he has made this season,” the Ferrari boss said, as quoted by RaceFans.
“He’s always been very fast in the quali, even in the last part of the season where maybe Carlos was challenging him a bit more, he has always been very fast.”
“We should not forget that in his season, there are a couple of examples, which is Monaco and Budapest, where he didn’t score but I think he has been unlucky as a driver in those occasions,” he explained.
“Without that, it’s difficult to say what he would have finished at the end of the race, but maybe at least 40 points missing on his classification. So without that again I think he would have been a lot further ahead in the championship.”
“That’s why, again, I can only judge very positively his season. “He has learned furthermore how to manage the tyres, how to manage the race situations and the race pace. So I’m quite pleased on the progress he made.”
Read more: Binotto leaves out Sainz from title bid – “Leclerc will lead the campaign”