Christian Horner gives take on Mattia Binotto sacking

Frederic Vasseur started his new role as Ferrari team principal on January 9, after spending five seasons at Alfa Romeo.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has given his first opinion on the managerial changes made at Ferrari and Williams, with both sides having gone in very different directions.

Ferrari have opted for experience in 2023, with the Italians having signed experienced team principal Frederic Vasseur to replace Mattia Binotto, who resigned following the conclusion of the 2022 season.

Whilst Vasseur does boast more leadership experience than Binotto, the Frenchman has only led midfield teams in the past, during spells at Alfa Romeo and Renault.

With that in mind, Horner is intrigued to see if Vasseur will continue to argue points at the “next Formula 1 Commission meeting” that he was making in support of Alfa Romeo and Sauber, or if his approach will change given that he now leads a front-running team.

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“It has been interesting to watch the movement,” Horner told Motorsport Magazine.

“I have sympathy for Mattia, because ultimately he’d done a good job. Last year, that was a big step forward from where they had been, so that must be tough for him after such long service that he had given to Ferrari.

“Fred, it’ll be interesting to see if he’s still arguing about the same points that he was for Sauber in upcoming meetings!

“But again, he’s a very capable guy. So yeah, it’ll be very interesting. I’m sure they’re all very capable people. So we’ll get to see what the dynamics are at the next Formula 1 Commission meeting.”

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Whilst Ferrari have gone for experience, Williams have opted for inexperience, with the Grove-based outfit having signed Mercedes chief strategist James Vowles to replace Jost Capito.

Capito departed at the end of what was a challenging season for Williams, who returned to the foot of the Constructors’ Championship.

They’re taking a gamble on Vowles given that he has no team principal experience; however, that weirdly could work in the team’s favour.

Vowles will very much be learning on the job but could take a similar approach to the role as Mercedes boss Toto Wolff, given that’s who he’s worked with for so long.

Whilst Vowles isn’t set to make the switch until mid-February, the belief is that he’ll be given time to implement his style, something which could work to Williams’ advantage.

Horner is pleased to see Williams giving someone new a chance despite not personally knowing Vowles very well, with the Red Bull boss believing that it “can only be good news” for the historic side.

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“I don’t know James particularly well, but he’s obviously a very capable guy,” Horner said.

“Williams will have done their due diligence and research and I think it’s great that they’re giving him the chance to make that step up. So I think that can only be good news for Williams.

“And is there anything attached to that? Williams would have obviously done what’s right for them and right for their business. But only they will know what has been agreed for that early release to have happened.”