Binotto to replace Arrivabene as Ferrari F1 boss

Heather Diaz
January 8, 2019

Ferrari replaced Maurizio Arrivabene with Mattia Binotto as team principal on Monday following another failed Formula One title chase.

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

"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 becomes Ferrari's fourth team principal in the past five years, with Stefano Domenicali and then Marco Mattiacci having held the role prior to Arrivabene's appointment.

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.

The death in July past 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.

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It is understood there were tensions between Arrivabene - who had been chief of the iconic team since December 2014 - and Binotto last season, with the former under increasing pressure amid a string of team errors over the course of 2018.

While Arrivabene had led the Scuderia through its most successful period in a decade, it is believed that his management style did not sit well with those within the team. Vettel's preference was for the team to continue with good friend Kimi Raikkonen for another season.

Raikkonen was the last Ferrari driver to win a championship in 2007.

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.

The major move just days into the New Year has been taken little over a month before pre-season testing begins and comes in the wake of the team's title defeats to Mercedes last year. One of Binotto's most obvious tasks this year will be to ensure this situation never escalates into anything damaging to the team.

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. And while strong technically and great with the staff, it's unclear whether Binotto has the commercial experience required to deliver in this role.

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