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'They are both No.1' - Alain Prost backs Ferrari over driver hierarchy

2019-03-01 10:15
Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari badge

Image: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA / AFP

Formula 1 legend Alain Prost has backed Ferrari's decision to impose a clear driver pecking order ahead of the 2019 season.

Mattia Binotto kicked off his tenure as the Maranello team's new boss by declaring that Sebastian Vettel would have "priority" over newcomer Charles Leclerc.

'A courageous decision'

Leclerc, 21, said in Barcelona that Binotto's call was "logical".

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And Prost, a former Ferrari driver and now Renault team advisor, agrees.

"It was a courageous decision," the four-time world champion is quoted by France's Le Figaro.

"In a team like Ferrari, it's extremely difficult to win a championship if you let both drivers compete on equal terms."

'Clarifies the situation'

Prost praised Binotto's "good management style" in establishing the hierarchy now before the 2019 season even begins.

"It's more cautious and better to say it from the beginning. It clarifies the situation and it's also more comfortable for Charles," said the Frenchman.

As for Renault's drivers, though, Prost says there is no such pecking order.

"There is no number 1 and number 2 driver. They are both number 1," Prost said, referring to Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg.

"There will inevitably be a moment when one will go faster than the other, but they are big boys. It's fine that they fight on the track but it must be in the best possible state of mind. There must be no problems," he added.

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