On Tuesday, the Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport and Autosport’s Italian-language sister website Motorsport.it reported that Ferrari team boss Binotto is on his way out, according to several sources within the team.
Binotto, who rose through the ranks in Maranello, was appointed team principal in January 2019 after helping the team return to form as its head of engines and subsequently its chief technical officer.
But as Ferrari built its most competitive car in years for the new 2022 regulations, a spate of strategy errors and reliability issued dropped Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz out of contention, with Ferrari instead having to look over its shoulder to safeguard second place in the constructors’ championship against the resurgent Mercedes.
According to Italian sources, Ferrari’s downturn in form led to chairman John Elkann’s decision to replace Binotto from 1 January and bring in his Alfa Romeo counterpart Fred Vasseur as his replacement.
But on Tuesday, Ferrari issued a statement on social media denying the rumours of Binotto’s removal, stating they are “totally without foundation”.
It said: “In relation to speculation in certain media regarding Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto’s position, Ferrari states that these rumours are totally without foundation.”
Frederic Vasseur, Team Principal, Alfa Romeo Racing Press Conference
Photo by: FIA Pool
The experienced Vasseur, who ran Leclerc at Alfa Romeo during the Monegasque’s 2017 debut season, enjoyed close ties with Ferrari as the Sauber-run team is an engine partner of Maranello and is sponsored by sister brand Alfa Romeo.
But that link is set to be severed with Audi coming on board as Sauber’s engine partner and shareholder for 2026.
Prior to becoming Alfa Romeo team principal, Vasseur founded the French Formula 3 and Formula 3 Euroseries-winning AMS team.
He then formed the ART Grand Prix GP2 team alongside Nicolas Todt, son of former Ferrari boss Jean Todt.
He joined Renault F1 team in 2016 before resigning at the end of that season to head up Alfa Romeo.