Binotto replaces Arrivabene as Ferrari boss

Lynette Rowe
January 9, 2019

Italian Formula One outfit Ferrari are set for a management reshuffle with team principal Maurizio Arrivabene to be replaced by technical director Mattia Binotto, according to reports in Italy on Monday (Jan 7).

A Ferrari statement said: "After four years of untiring commitment and dedication, Maurizio Arrivabene is leaving the team. The decision was taken together with the company's top management after lengthy discussions related to Maurizio's long-term personal interests as well as those of the team itself", Ferrari...

Binotto has served as Ferrari's technical director since 2016 but rumours of tension between himself and Arrivabene were rife a year ago as the team's title challenge faded for the second consecutive season.

This article will be updated. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won the Driver's championship while Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen came second and third respectively.

Vettel will be hoping Binotto's appointment can help him overcome Hamilton and Mercedes to win a fifth world title in 2019.

It is unclear who will replace Binotto as head of Ferrari's technical department, but there are suggestions the team may elect to hand more responsibility to aero chief Enrico Cardile and the head of its engine department Corrado Iotti.

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The death in July previous year of combative chairman Sergio Marchionne, who had exercised the real power, triggered a change at the top with Louis Camilleri taking over as chief executive and John Elkann, a scion of Italy's gilded Agnelli family, as chairman.

Lawrence Barretto [Senior Writer, F1.com] says...

... One of Binotto's most obvious tasks this year will be to ensure this situation never escalates into anything damaging to the team. He was even linked with a move to Italian football club Juventus.

Arrivabene's tenure has looked uncertain for some time, with reports as far back as October, 2017 suggesting Binotto could replace the former Philip Morris marketing executive.

There were also a number of strategic blunders such as Ferrari opting for the wrong tyres in qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix, which then prompted a remarkable outburst from Arrivabene about the approach his staff were taking. That tension threatened to become toxic. In contrast, Binotto has played a huge role in Ferrari's engine gains in recent years as well as their recent improvements on the aero side. Given his success, in a reasonably sort amount of time, it's no wonder Ferrari have moved quickly to lock him down, at the expense of Arrivabene.

Binotto, credited for increasing the engine performance at Ferrari over the past two seasons, has been with the team for more than 20 years.

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