Charles Leclerc has rubbished reports that Mattia Binotto could be axed as team principal, and said the team needs to keep its focus on the track as they head to the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the final race of the season.
Reports surfaced following the Brazilian Grand Prix that Ferrari were looking to replace Binotto with Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur, after a series of strategical blunders in the 2022 season.
“There are always rumours around Formula One, and especially around Ferrari,” Leclerc told the media.
“This doesn’t change when we are getting to the end of the season, there are always voices around us.
“I think as a team we really need to focus on our job and on track and try to extract everything that’s happening around the team.
“I think stability is paying off, we’ve been showing in the last few years that we are improving, as I was saying earlier then there’s another step that we need to do. But we are working on that and I’m sure we’ll achieve that.”
Vasseur‘s first full season as team principal of Sauber in 2018 coincided with Charles Leclerc‘s debut F1 season with the Swiss team, where he more than made his mark on the sport.
After a stellar junior career, Leclerc quickly got up to speed in F1 and scored a sixth place in just his fourth race. He was a regular point-scorer and outperformed the more experienced Marcus Ericsson under Vasseur‘s tutelage before he headed for Ferrari after just a year.
Leclerc and Binotto joined Ferrari at the same time ahead of the 2019 season and have endured a rollercoaster period since.
After Leclerc wrestled the team leadership mantle from Sebastian Vettel in his debut season, the team enduring an awful 2020 and finished sixth in the constructors’ championship saddled with a catastrophically weak power unit.
However, they were better in 2021, and looked like title challengers to begin 2022.
Though they’ve been unable to make good on early season promise, Leclerc said he thought the team was going in the right direction.
“People tend to forget how big of a step we’ve done from last year to this year,” Leclerc said. “There’s definitely another step that we need to do but I am sure that we’ll do it all together.”