Leclerc proved last season that he can beat a world champion driver.
Presenting the new auto away from Maranello for the first time, in a nearby city famed as the birthplace of the Italian flag and with fans thronging the square outside, Ferrari's presentation put emotion centre stage.
"And Ferrari is proud of Italy and of representing Italy".
The difference is that a year ago team principal Mattia Binotto made clear at pre-season testing that Vettel, as the team's experienced driver, would be favoured as the main championship contender.
In Vettel and Leclerc's hands, the SF1000 will have a simple mission: to bring Ferrari a constructors' championship for the first time since 2008 - while both drivers will also be racing to claim Ferrari's first drivers' title since Kimi Raikkonen's 2007 victory.
"We are free to race, but we are teammates".More news: Norwich vs Liverpool 02.15.2020
But that directive has gone out of the window for this season, team boss Mattia Binotto said yesterday, on the sidelines of the launch of the Italian team's new SF1000 vehicle.
"I felt emotional when I saw it", the 22-year-old said.
"A lot of people are working behind us, as a team, and things like Brazil should not happen".
"It's 70 years of Formula One, we have been there from the start and we are going to reach the figure of 1000 Grands Prix, which is something incredible", he said.
"We're focused on our drivers".
"(It was) not like I had a different auto", he said.More news: UK Contacts 250 Delegates Of Conference A Coronavirus Patient Attended
Vettel, 32, joined Ferrari in 2015 and the German's contract is till the end of this season, as does Hamilton's at Mercedes. What distinguishes us is the awesome collective effort of everyone in Ferrari's Gestione Sportiva, both on and off the track.
"We're talking with Seb and we'll take the time needed".
We're not too sure what happened to the Ferrari SF91 (the 2019 Ferrari Formula 1 vehicle was called the Ferrari SF90, so, really, Ferrari has jumped 910 years worth of cars), but the SF1000 looks pretty darn tasty. "There will be a time for the rest".
"At some point you have to sort out what's going on in the future but I think we will have enough time to do so".
Ferrari's second driver Charles Leclerc extended his contract with the Scuderia this winter until 2024.
Hamilton is preparing to launch his bid to equal Michael Schumacher's record of seven drivers' championship titles after cruising to a six title last campaign.More news: Australia extends ban on visitors from China