Following on from a spectacular wheel to wheel first lap battle between the two Ferrari drivers at last Sunday’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix, which Leclerc eventually won, team principal Binotto claimed it was “great to see” the two drivers battling on track.
He praised both drivers for their on track respect, on a weekend which saw the team extend it’s advantage over McLaren, in the close battle for P3 in the constructors’ championship, as a result of a strong performance from both sides of the garage.
"It's great to see them fighting on track.
"It was a good start in the first corners. They have been very safe in making sure they don't damage themselves, which is important for me and the team.
"The two drivers are really behaving very well, and from my side, to manage it, it's a lot easier when the drivers understand the team spirit.
"At the moment, I can only confirm those two guys really understand it very well."
"Our drivers are completely free to fight.
"I've always said the priority is the team and we will do whatever we can to maximise the team points.
"Apart from that they are free to fight at the moment, and hopefully in the future it will be so good they will be free to fight each single race."
When quizzed on whether Sainz has improved more than the team have this far, Binotto said:
"I don't think I can judge it relative to the team. I can judge what Carlos is doing and he is doing very well.”
He went on to express his happiness with Sainz performances and improvements since joining the team from rivals McLaren at the beginning of the season, citing his quick integration into the team as well as his contributions at Maranello. He continued to highlight Sainz' growing confidence in the car.
"Since the very first race, he has integrated very well into the team and making his own contribution, which was very important.
"And since the very first race, he has developed further.
"I look at this race he was capable of being very aggressive at the start, on the first lap, and he is doing it well, where he has always been strong in past seasons.
"I think he is getting more and more confident with the car, with the strategies that we are applying, and he is delivering to his best in terms of performance."