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Binotto happy with 'second driver' Sainz

Binotto happy with 'second driver' Sainz
© Reuters
Mattia Binotto says he is "very happy" with the way Carlos Sainz is progressing at Ferrari.

Mattia Binotto says he is "very happy" with the way Carlos Sainz is progressing at Ferrari.

At the same time, the Maranello team's boss said Charles Leclerc was "too aggressive" in qualifying at Portimao.

Spaniard Sainz has been taking some time to adjust to his new car after switching from McLaren to replace Sebastian Vettel, but he managed to out-qualify his highly-rated teammate at his third race weekend in red.

"Every time the races go by I feel better," said the 26-year-old driver. "This weekend I have found a couple of things in the driving and the setup that have helped me to be a little faster.

"It is normal that as the season progresses you make mistakes, change direction and see what works for you. Experience," added Sainz, who is fifth on the grid at Portimao - three places ahead of Leclerc.

Boss Binotto told Sky Italia: "Leclerc did not do his best qualifying."

However, the Italian is more than happy with Sainz's progress.

"Carlos is improving - he is just over two tenths from Perez," said Binotto. "We are the best of those who are chasing so we want to position ourselves there and stay in front of McLaren.

"I have to say I am very happy with how Carlos is behaving, with how he is driving," he continued. "He is really proving his worth with facts.

"Charles made a mistake because he exaggerated - he was too aggressive. Sainz, on the other hand, was able to manage things very well," Binotto said after qualifying.

"We knew with the soft tyre it could be difficult, but he put together a good lap.

"Having a second driver who is capable of placing himself in front of his teammate in situations like this is a great guarantee for Ferrari," Binotto said.

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Ferrari's Mattia Binotto pictured in August 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States14141038
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia811928
Great BritainGreat Britain57618
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events

· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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