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Mattia Binotto Resigns As Ferrari’s F1 Team Principal

The rumors started circulating before the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix—Mattia Binotto was on his way out as Ferrari’s team principal. On Tuesday morning, Ferrari made his resignation official. 

“With the regret that this entails, I have decided to conclude my collaboration with Ferrari,” Binotto said in the team’s statement. “I am leaving a company that I love, which I have been part of for 28 years, with the serenity that comes from the convinction [sic] 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.”

The team says that the process to find a new team principal is underway, and set to be completed in 2023.

Binotto wasn’t present at Formula One’s races in Mexico and Brazil, and during the week leading up to the season finale, Italian newspapers Gazzetta dello Sport and Corriere della Sera reported Frederic Vasseur, who is the team boss of Alfa Romeo, could be in line to take over Binotto’s spot in January.

Ferrari strongly denied the reports, saying, in part, in a statement, “these rumours are totally without foundation.” Binotto and Charles Leclerc downplayed the speculation while in Abu Dhabi with the driver saying during Thursday’s press conference ahead of the race, “there are always rumors around Formula One, and especially around Ferrari, and this doesn't change. Obviously, when we are getting to the end of the season, there are always voices around us.”

Binotto said that Saturday of the race weekend, “Obviously when these speculations were out, I had a chat with my chairman John Elkann. Together, we discuss openly what was the best way to move forward, and we decided to release a statement. That was maybe the best way to close any speculations and clearly those are speculations, totally, with no foundations.” 

Ferrari went on to place second in the constructors’ championship while Leclerc took second in the drivers’ standings after finishing P2 in Abu Dhabi. But not even a week later, the rumors of Binotto’s shaky future were kickstarted again, this time that he’d be resigning. 

Corriere della Sera was the first to report the likelihood of Binotto negotiating his exit as Ferrari’s team boss and managing director of the sporting division. The outlet claims Binotto felt he did not have Elkann’s trust. La Gazzetta dello Sport and Sky Sports Italy both published reports later saying his departure was “imminent.” 

Binotto became the team principal in 2019 after he helped revive the team as head of engines and later chief technical officer. But the Prancing Horse hit a win drought after Sebastian Vettel’s victory at the Singapore Grand Prix. Ferrari didn’t record another win until the one-two finish of Leclerc and Carlos Sainz at the Bahrain Grand Prix this year. 

With new technical regulations in 2022, Ferrari looked competitive as it took ahold of both championships early on. But a series of reliability errors, questionable strategic calls and the occasional driver error soon derailed the title dreams. They may have recorded a combined 12 pole positions, but Sainz and Leclerc only won four races. Meanwhile, Red Bull and Max Verstappen ran away with both titles before the season was over.