Leclerc says his number 2 status ‘logical’

Mar.1 (GMM) Charles Leclerc says it is “logical” that he starts his career at Ferrari with number 2 status to Sebastian Vettel.

Since the highly rated youngster was signed by Ferrari, and after four-time world champion Vettel’s difficult 2018 season, many in the paddock predicted that it could be Leclerc with the upper hand this year.

But team boss Mattia Binotto started his tenure as Ferrari boss by declaring that it will be Vettel with “priority” in 2019.

“That was not news to me and I don’t think Mattia said anything exaggerated,” Leclerc, 21, said as he completed his winter test duties on Thursday with a scintillating time.

“I already knew it would be like that for a while. For me it’s only logical and understandable,” the Monaco-born driver added.

“I’m new to Ferrari so it’s clear that one driver is preferred in a 50-50 situation. That’s what he said, and I totally understand that it’s Vettel.

“But that does not mean it always has to be that way. My job is to be so fast that no team order is necessary,” Leclerc said.

As for whether Ferrari really is clear of Red Bull and Mercedes ahead of the season opener in Australia, Leclerc would not be drawn.

“These are tests,” he said in Barcelona. “It’s hard to say who is still holding back.

“We will only get the answer in Australia, but right now we seem strong. It’s a good start for us.”

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