Sports

Mattia Binotto to replace Maurizio Arrivabene at Ferrari F1

Mattia Binotto to replace Maurizio Arrivabene at Ferrari F1

Ferrari appointed Mattia Binotto as their fourth Formula One principal in less than five years on Monday, with previous incumbent Maurizio Arrivabene paying the price for their continuing lack of titles.

In a statement, Ferrari 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".

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. While some key figures have left - notably technical chief Paddy Lowe to Williams - they have been quietly and efficiently replaced and the powerhouse operation has continued.

This article will be updated.

From 2009, he oversaw the Scuderia's engine and KERS development before becoming chief operating officer of Ferrari's power unit department in 2014.

The news, first reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday, comes after Ferrari again lost out to Mercedes in the battle for both drivers' and constructors' championships past year, despite beginning the season with perhaps the strongest package on the grid.

However, Ferrari have been unable to end Mercedes' stranglehold of F1's world titles despite having been thought to have had quicker cars at certain points of the last two seasons.

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Such a drastic move on the eve of the new season will inevitably raise questions about how the team's season will be affected, given that the Italian outfit seems likely to be Mercedes' closest challenger this year.

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. There has been talk of his exit for more than a year.

In that case, Lowe was replaced by Binotto's predecessor as technical director, James Allison, who appears to have fit seamlessly into the system below Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. Ferrari were faced with a dilemma.

Many believe Binotto has played a crucial role in the team's resurgence of the recent past.

That led to several teams being interested in enticing him away from Maranello.

A change of leadership at this stage is far from ideal, with only a few weeks to go until testing starts.


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