Formula 1's managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn has backed Mattia Binotto to succeed at the difficult job he has undertaken at Ferrari.
Binotto was appointed as Ferrari's team principal for the 2019 season, after two years working as the team's chief technical officer.
The Italian replaced compatriot Maurizio Arrivabene following Ferrari's failure to win the world championship in 2017 and 2018.
Brawn, who played a major role during Ferrari's dominance of the early 2000's, says that Binotto has so far handled the different situation at Ferrari well this year.
"Mattia finds himself having to manage what is definitely a new situation for Ferrari, in the shape of two drivers fighting at a very high level,” he stated.
“For now, Mattia is managing the situation well, dealing on the one hand with the talented young [Charles] Leclerc, while managing the valuable resource that is [Sebastian] Vettel, who as a four-time world champion has shown himself capable of dealing with pressure in the past.
“This is definitely a tricky year for Sebastian and the podium in Shanghai will have been a confidence boost, while Charles has shown great maturity in accepting team decisions that are not easy to digest.”
Ferrari has failed to win so far in 2019, while rivals Mercedes has picked up three consecutive one-two finishes.
However, Brawn is confident that Ferrari will soon come back strong and take the challenge to Mercedes, who is hunting for a sixth straight world championship.
"In Bahrain, the team had the performance but not the reliability. In China, the performance was not at a level to fight with Mercedes for pole on Saturday or the win on Sunday.
“Thus, having coming away from winter testing convinced it could fight the Anglo-German squad on equal terms, the Italian outfit found itself behind in both the drivers’ and constructors’ classifications and in the latter, the gap is already quite big.
“The first three races have confirmed that if Ferrari wants to challenge Mercedes everything has to be perfect at all levels: performance, reliability and teamwork.
“That’s what Binotto and his guys have to do and, knowing Mattia, I am sure he is aware of that and will devote all his energies to ensuring it happens.”