Ferrari moved quickly to deny the story though, with Binotto and the team’s drivers repeatedly playing down talk of a change over the Abu Dhabi weekend.
However, the matter appears to have not gone away and a report in well-connected Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on Friday suggested that Binotto was on the verge of announcing his resignation.
The stories suggested that negotiations were underway between Binotto and Ferrari’s senior management to agree on the terms of his exit. It was suggested that a formal announcement from the team could be made as early as Friday.
Ferrari said on Friday that there was nothing “official” to say on the matter.
Corriere della Sera claimed that Binotto had come to the conclusion that he should not continue at Ferrari because he did not feel he had the full trust of president John Elkann.
It was as recently as the Italian GP that Elkann moved to dismiss any talk that Binotto’s place at Ferrari was under threat in the wake of its failure to launch a better challenge against Red Bull this season.
However, he did make a clear point of suggesting that the squad needed to iron out critical errors that had cost it valuable points this season.
“We have great faith in Mattia Binotto and appreciate everything he and all our engineers have done, but there is no doubt that the work in Maranello, in the garage, on the pit wall and at the wheel needs to improve,” Elkann told Gazzetta dello Sport.
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal, Ferrari
Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
“We must continue to make progress and that goes for the mechanics, the engineers, the drivers and obviously, the entire management team, including the team principal.
“We have seen that there are still too many mistakes when it comes to reliability, driving and strategy.
“Putting our trust in Binotto and his team was the right decision and it has paid off. Thanks to them we are competitive and winning again. But I am not satisfied because I think we can always do better.”
In Abu Dhabi last weekend, Binotto said he had again received assurances from Elkann about his future in the wake of the Vasseur stories.
“Obviously when this speculation came out, I had a chat…