The bespectacled boss is out after four seasons in charge of the Prancing Horse after a second-place finish in the Constructors’ Championship.
After a disappointing campaign that saw the Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 team begin the year as a strong Constructors’ Championship pick only to finish a distant second behind Red Bull Racing, team principal Mattia Binotto announced that he is resigning from his position effective Dec. 31.
“With the regret that this entails, I have decided to conclude my collaboration with Ferrari,” Binotto said in a statement on Tuesday. “I am leaving a company that I love, which I have been part of for 28 years, with the serenity that comes from the conviction that I have made every effort to achieve the objectives set.”
Binotto, 53, joined Ferrari in 1995 as an engineer and worked his way up to team principal in 2019, succeeding Maurizio Arrivabene.
Two weeks back, Ferrari shut down rumors that they’d replace Binotto with incumbent Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur, who’s reportedly a strong candidate for the role. Despite Ferrari’s refutation, It makes sense — Vasseur worked with Ferrari’s currently-somewhat-disgruntled star driver Charles Leclerc at Sauber during his first F1 season in 2018.
Leclerc voiced concerns with Ferrari’s race strategy and overall reliability during the 2022 world championship campaign, particularly as it related to pitting and tire optimization.
“We need to speak with the team and understand the thought behind putting [on] the hards because I felt very strong on the mediums. Everything was under control and for some reason, I don’t know why we need to go onto [the] hards,” he explained in July. “I said on the radio I was very comfortable with the mediums and that I wanted to go as long as possible with those tyres because the feeling was good. I don’t know why we took a different decision.”
Unfortunately, that specific strategic lapse was not an exception that proved the rule, and here we are today.
On Monday, one day before Binotto’s announcement, Leclerc expressed signs of optimism:
“I’m confident, in terms of pace, we will manage to catch Red Bull back next year.”
Mattia Binotto was hired during Ferrari’s infamous 2019 campaign in which the team competed with an engine that the FIA later deemed illegal, leading to a private settlement between the governing body and Ferrari. Since that episode, the team has not been able to capitalize fully on all its promise.
“I leave a united and growing team,” Binotto said. “A strong team, ready, I’m sure, to achieve the highest goals, to which I wish all the best for the future. I think it is right to take this step at this time as hard as this decision has been for me.”
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