The end of the 2022 season was extremely messy for Ferrari, as the team were forced to hang on for dear life as Mercedes closed the gap to second place in the championship significantly following a late resurgence.
The Scuderia survived the late scare from the Silver Arrows and avoided the ultimate embarrassment of coming third in a two-horse race for the title.
After the pressure was ramping up for Ferrari to sack their team principal Mattia Binotto, the team released a statement on social media, rubbishing the reports claiming that they were looking to replace Binotto and suggesting that the Swiss had their full support.
Bizarrely however, only days after this statement, Ferrari announced that they had accepted the resignation of Binotto, and that their team principal was set to depart the team at the end of the calendar year.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has sympathised with Binotto after his departure from Ferrari, suggesting that given the magnitude of the job he held, he did a more than reasonable job.
“I think, in all fairness to Mattia, he did a very good job in producing a very competitive car and engine for Ferrari, certainly this year. Obviously, they had their moments operationally,” claimed Horner.
“He committed a long period of his career and life to Ferrari, and I’m sure it must be very difficult for him to leave that team after all of that time. So of course, a huge pressure in that team, because it’s a national team effectively, as well as an OEM team.
“And I think that now it will be the sixth team principal that I will sit across the table from, since I’ve been at Red Bull and, obviously, you know, a lot of pressure on that job.”
With Binotto set to remain in Formula1 following his resignation from Ferrari, it is rumoured that the Swiss will take up a role with either Mercedes or Audi, rather than taking some time away from the sport.
As for Ferrari’s replacement, it appears that the team are struggling to find someone willing to step into the hotseat, with Fred Vasseur, Christian Horner and Andreas Seidl of Alfa Romeo, Red Bull and McLaren respectively all reportedly turning down the chance to move to the Scuderia.
Ferrari reportedly want to hire from the outside and have a completely fresh start in 2023, rather than promoting from within and keeping some of the bad habits that were inevitably part of their downfall in 2022.