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Official: Binotto leaves Ferrari

NEWS STORY
29/11/2022

Ferrari has announced that it has accepted the resignation of Mattia Binotto who will leave his role as team principal on December 31.

"I would like to thank Mattia for his many great contributions over 28 years with Ferrari and particularly for leading the team back to a position of competitiveness during this past year," said Benedetto Vigna. "As a result, we are in a strong position to renew our challenge, above all for our amazing fans around the world, to win the ultimate prize in motorsport. Everyone here at the Scuderia and in the wider Ferrari community wishes Mattia well for the future."

"With the regret that this entails, I have decided to conclude my collaboration with Ferrari," added Binotto. "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. I leave a united and growing team.

"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. I would like to thank all the people at the Gestione Sportiva who have shared this journey with me, made up of difficulties but also of great satisfaction."

According to the team, the process is underway to identify a team principal and is expected to be finalised in the new year.

Not for the first time, Ferrari is throwing out the baby with the bathwater... Binotto is a brilliant engineer and should never have been given the role of team principal in the first place.

Having joined Ferrari in 1995, he was there for the golden era during which Michael Schumacher, ably assisted by Jean Todt, Rory Byrne and Ross Brawn won five successive titles.

In 2013, he was appointed head of the engine department, and chief technical officer in July 2016, replacing James Allison.

In 2019, he was promoted to team principal, replacing Maurizio Arrivabene, and though the season saw a far more competitive Ferrari, the season was overshadowed by the legality of the Italian team's power unit, a situation made even worse by the fact that it subsequently reached a private deal to keep details of the governing body's investigation secret.

Whatever the whys and wherefores of the engine scandal, Ferrari went from having the best engine of 2019 to arguably the worst in 2020.

2021 saw a revival of the team's fortunes, and at the start of this year the Maranello outfit appeared genuine championship contenders.

However poor strategic calls, reliability and numerous episodes of what Ferrari do best saw the Italian team lose its way, only just managing to hold on to the runner-up spot.

Perhaps in Binotto Ferrari saw another Mauro Forghieri, a brilliant engineer who was able to organise and lead the team, however the sport has changed in recent decades and while genius engineers are still a vital part of the package, team principals have to be far more political, Machiavellian even, and Binotto was anything but.

Alfa Romeo boss Frederick Vasseur has been linked with the role and would appear to be a good choice, however, despite his insistence that he is heading to his sofa we wouldn't rule out Ross Brawn... after all isn't this the man who was going to spend his retirement fishing and watching Manchester United until Liberty Media tempted him?

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Max Noble, 02/12/2022 1:01

"@Kenji - What’s remarkable is this has been the Ferrari approach - heads on silver platter - ever since the early days with Enzo as lord and master of his domain. Niki Lauda, Prost, to an extent Vettel, and John Surtees… all departing after being blamed for wrong turns… Then at the very top Luca Di M being thrown out… And I’ve lost count of the team leads they have thrown under the vampiric big red bus…

This will not help.

"

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2. Posted by kenji, 30/11/2022 12:15

"@ Max...my sentiments entirely the same. "

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3. Posted by Max Noble, 30/11/2022 11:03

"Sigh… as per observations the other week when this was total denied… not a surprise yet a totally wrong turn. This was a man with Ferrari red flowing within him, that was dedicated to team success. So sad to see a positive force thrown out. We can now all watc as season 2023 goes South, and Charles looks to exit his contract….

"

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4. Posted by ancient70!, 30/11/2022 7:48

"Why do I get the feeling this is not going to end well for Ferrari?!"

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5. Posted by kenji, 30/11/2022 1:11

"@ ian-w...The 'Peter Principle'...an oldie but still a goodie."

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6. Posted by ian_w, 29/11/2022 23:17

"Is this a classic case of "being promoted to your level of incompetence" ? It's not that Binotto is incompetent in any way, just his skillset, expertise and brilliance were not aligned with the requirements for a team principal. He always seemed a reluctant recipient of the role.

Ferrari's fortunes seemed to improve when he spent more time at the factory and less at the track. Unfortunately, most organizations (and certainly not Ferrari) which would acknowledge the unwise decision and put him back into the CTO role."

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7. Posted by alvarezh3, 29/11/2022 22:20

""Not for the first time, Ferrari is throwing out the baby with the bathwater... Binotto is a brilliant engineer and should never have been given the role of team principal in the first place."

Totally agree, therefore is not Binotto's fault to be chosen to perform a job he was not trained to do. A mistake was made by the one(s) that chose him for team principal.

Just because I am your best friend and love your kids almost as much as you do doesn't mean you should choose me to perform an urgently needed appendectomy on one of them, he (she) would most likely die for I am not a surgeon."

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8. Posted by Bill Hopgood, 29/11/2022 18:06

"Ferrari's issues, and that of any other team or organisation for that matter, are leadership issues so it is no surprise that changes were coming.
However, those changes do not mean that Binotto had to go, indeed, Ferrari could have looked at putting the best person into the best position, i.e. Binotto into technical with a "man manager" type leader in as team principle.
Aside from their very public tactical cock ups and a few reliability issues, Ferrari had a very good season, in particular when 2019 is taken into account and that deal with the FIA, Binotto will for sure know where the bodies are buried in that episode so his upcoming book would have one heck of an interesting chapter if he was brave enough to right it.
Ferrari now have a good platform to get better results in future.
"

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9. Posted by francisn, 29/11/2022 17:19

"Sorry to see Mattia go. Seemingly a throughly decent man and very competent engineer. It would seem it was his decision rather than being sacked which makes it all the more sad."

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10. Posted by Chester, 29/11/2022 13:51

"The Ferrari merry-go-round. For our sake, let's hope Ferrari can field a competitive top tier car next year. I do NOT want to return to the era of dominance by one team.

I like Red Bull and its accomplishments- but continued dominance is not fun."

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11. Posted by Burton, 29/11/2022 12:41

"If it was Binotto who insisted in retaining technical responsibilities alongside being team principal then he is also a bit guilty of his own demise, but with strong leadership above he wouldn't even have been in a position to make such a call.
As it stands, engineering talent lost for no reason."

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12. Posted by kenji, 29/11/2022 12:35

"I do feel that losing Binotto is not the singlemost best thing for Ferrari. 28 years of Ferrari is not something that can easily be replaced besiudes he's a very nice guy as well. As for Brawn...well everone has his price but he's already filthy [ rich ] so the offer would heve to be mega in one way or another. Nothing has been said about Mekies ATM but surely he needs to looked at as well despite Binotto carrying the can."

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