Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Sports | By Juana Wells

Mattia Binotto replaces sacked Maurizio Arrivabene as Ferrari's team principal

Mattia Binotto replaces sacked Maurizio Arrivabene as Ferrari's team principal

Scuderia Ferrari has confirmed this evening that Maurizio Arrivabene is to leave the team and will be replaced as team principal by Switzerland's Mattia Binotto, who has been in charge of all technical matters for the last couple of years.

"After four years of untiring commitment and dedication, Maurizio Arrivabene is leaving the team", the Ferrari statement read. Scuderia Ferrari started 2014 with Stefano Domenicali at the helm, replacing him in April of that year with Marco Mattiacci, who in turn waved goodbye in November when Arrivabene replaced him.

Arrivabene dismissed the gossip as fake news destined to destabilize the red team, but according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ferrari president John Elkann has now opted to promote Binotto to team principal and part ways with Arrivabene, a decision that could be made official later today or this week.

Had it not been for a woeful second half of the season, which saw Ferrari fall back and effectively give both the drivers' and constructors' crowns to Mercedes, Arrivabene might still be employed.

Ferrari will also have a new driver pairing in 2019, with former champion Sebastian Vettel to be paired with exciting youngster Charles Leclerc.

Ferrari has won a record 16 constructors' titles and is unique in having competed in every season since the first in 1950.

There have always been rumours that Binotto and Arrivabene had disagreements about the direction and approach of the team.

When Marchionne died last summer, Arrivabene very rapidly reversed that strategy, knowing as a longtime tobacco promotions man, that communication was vital.

The team meanwhile adopted something of a siege mentality under his leadership. In 2016, he was appointed the Chief Technical Officer.

Media reports a year ago had indicated that Marchionne was already planning, before he died of complications during cancer surgery, to replace Arrivabene with Binotto.

He'll be replaced by the team's technical boss Mattia Binotto.

How well equipped he is to fight Ferrari's corner in delicate talks about the sport's future post-2021, with the sport's owners keen to see a more level playing field, remains an open question.

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.

He joined the race team in 1997 and remained as an engineer until 2004 when he moved over to engine development, becoming chief engineer in 2007.

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