Talented Ferrari pair still has 'untapped potential' – Mekies


Ferrari sporting director Laurent Mekies says Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz still have untapped potential that the Italian outfit is working to unlock.

Scuderia boss Mattia Binotto has often touted the team's driver line-up as the strongest on the F1 grid, with both Leclerc and Sainz seen as two of the most gifted drivers of Grand Prix racing's new generation.

Last year the duo pulled Ferrari back on to the podium in the Constructors' championship. But this season, they aspire to return their outfit to the winner's circle onboard the Scuderia's promising all-new F1-75 car.

Mekies vaunts the pair's productive working relationship, but the Frenchman sees much more to come from its young chargers.

"I think they are two drivers who are much more united than you see from the outside, not only because they work well together, but because they respect each other, they collaborate and they are aware of their role in driving a car that you have to make grow all together," said Ferrari's sporting director.

"At the moment you can’t hope for anything more in terms of the integration and quality of the work they are doing.

"Mattia Binotto has always said that they are the best pair in the paddock and that’s what we all feel at Ferrari when we see them working.

"That doesn’t take away from the fact that there is a desire to grow, we are always convinced that they both have untapped potential from their talent.

"So we are working with them to unlock that and take further steps forward together."

While Leclerc's services are locked in until the end of 2024, Ferrari has yet to extend Sainz's current contract that runs until the end of this season.

But the two parties have started their negotiations, the outcome of which leaves little doubt.

"At the moment, we are in the middle of the discussions," Sainz said last week.

"I think it’s been pretty clear that both Ferrari and myself – we are happy with the situation and we want to keep working together in the future.

"And we’ve put certain targets [for] ourselves to try and have [a new contract agreed] as soon as possible. But at the moment nothing is done yet."

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