January 19, 2019

Mattia Binotto replaces Maurizio Arrivabene as Ferrari team boss

09 January 2019, 07:27 | Pamela Mathis

Motor racing: Ferrari to replace F1 team boss Maurizio Arrivabene with technical chief Mattia Binotto, say reports

Ferrari to replace F1 team boss Maurizio Arrivabene with Binotto

Ferrari have sacked their team principal Maurizio Arrivabene two months before the start of the new Formula One season.

"With immediate effect, Mattia Binotto will take over as Scuderia Ferrari's Team Principal".

Ferrari enjoyed a strong start to its 2018 campaign, marked by consecutive opening wins in Melbourne and Bahrain for Sebastian Vettel who positioned himself and the Scuderia as the outright favourites for the title, a status the pair sustained over the summer despite the German driver's blunder at his home race at Hockenheim.

A statement read: "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".

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

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So it's official. Maurizio Arrivabene is no longer at the helm at Ferrari.

The death in July a year ago 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.

Binotto, who joined Ferrari in 1995 as a test engine engineer, had been the team's technical chief since 2016 after James Allison stepped down from the role. One of Binotto's most obvious tasks this year will be to ensure this situation never escalates into anything damaging to the team.

The Ferrari veteran, who has risen through the ranks to technical director and overseen a big step up in engine performance, has also reportedly been a target for rival constructors.

Recently, he has been linked with a senior role with Italian football powerhouse Juventus - where he has been an independent board member since 2012.

Vettel was responsible for some of their failings in 2018 but the team let him down operationally, failing to institute clear orders on occasion and making the wrong tyre choice in qualifying in Japan, an error for which Arrivabene turned on his team. That talk then intensified towards the end of last season, particularly as tensions grew between him and Technical Director Mattia Binotto. But the deed has been done. It remains to be seen what Binotto will do in terms of restructuring the team.

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