Ex-F1 star disagrees with Charles Leclerc over Ferrari team orders

Mick Schumacher drives his father’s Ferrari F2003-GA in October

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Former F1 driver Emmanuele Pirro has claimed Ferrari shouldn’t favour Charles Leclerc amid a team orders row at the Prancing Horse. Ex-boss Mattia Binotto refused to prioritise Leclerc last season as he maintained equal footing at the Scuderia.

However, it is a move which is understood to have led to the downfall of Binotto and Leclerc’s relationship as Max Verstappen and Red Bull cruised to the crown. But, new team boss Frederic Vassuer has been urged to stand strong to make sure the team achieves the best results.

He also called on Leclerc to “make the difference” himself instead of asking for favours. Speaking to Corriere dello Sport, Pirro said: “It depends on the drivers you have available “In Red Bull, the problem doesn’t even arise, with Verstappen so much stronger than Perez.

“With team-mates who can be compared today such as Hamilton-Russell or Leclerc-Sainz, the team principal must support those who are more in difficulty, like a parent with a weaker child.

“Besides, in the decisive moments, the champion has the extra spark and makes the difference.” Ferrari had claimed they would be prepared to use team orders at some stage last season although never pulled the trigger.

Leclerc was said to be “disappointed” after dropping back to P4 at the British Grand Prix despite previously leading. He fell down the field after Ferrari failed to prioritise him, allowing team-mate Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton to pass.

After the chequered flag, Leclerc was seen in discussion with Binotto before the team boss was seen wagging his finger in the Monegasque’s face.

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Leclerc also demanded help at the Brazilian Grand Prix in a bid to score more points in his championship battle with Sergio Perez for the runners-up spot. His request to pass Sainz for third on the line was denied, fuelling an angry response from Leclerc.

The 25-year-old appeared to criticise his team’s decision after the race as he suggested they had gone back on their word. He commented: “I don’t normally ask [for] these types of things, but we had these discussions prior to that race, so that’s why I asked about it.

“For some reason, we changed our mind on that – I don’t know yet, the reason.” Ex-Alfa Romeo boss Vasseur replaces Binotto at the helm after the Italian left at the end of last season.

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