As Ferrari's hierarchy surveyed the fall-out from the 2019 Formula 1 season, they knew they had to make a decision.
Charles Leclerc had been in the team for just a year. He had started it as an understudy, cast in a supporting role, charged with learning his craft at the feet of the team's nominal leader. He ended it having beaten Sebastian Vettel on every conceivable metric.
Team boss Mattia Binotto, supported by chairman John Elkann and chief executive Louis Camilleri, looked at the lie of the land in F1 and Ferrari's future within it.