Times are certainly tough for Ferrari following the conclusion of the 2022 season, despite the fact the Italians successfully claimed second in the Constructors’ Championship and Charles Leclerc claimed second in the Drivers’ Standings.
Ferrari are currently in turmoil following the resignation of team principal Mattia Binotto, who has been a critical part of the Maranello-based team’s family for 28 years.
Binotto has been constantly criticised by the media and Ferrari president John Elkann for the team’s countless strategic blunders, which left them looking red in the face multiple times.
Leclerc was denied several victories as a result of strategic errors, something which would’ve likely resulted in the championship going further than the Japanese Grand Prix.
Despite the calls for change, though, Binotto remained defiant in his strategic personnel, with the Italian seemingly having been keen to retain order in the camp.
Ultimately, it’s Binotto who it appears needs to be changed, at least in Elkann’s eyes.
It should be noted that Binotto wasn’t sacked; instead his resignation was accepted.
Whether he would’ve been sacked anyway will forever be an unknown; however, the pair’s relationship was effectively non-existent.
With Binotto’s last day set for 31st December, Ferrari have started the hunt for his replacement, with all fingers appearing to be pointing in the same direction.
Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur is the favourite to claim what seems to be a poisoned chalice, due to the Frenchman’s relationship with both Ferrari and, crucially, Leclerc.
Vasseur gave Leclerc his debut season at Alfa Romeo, with the pair having been seen in deep discussions with each other ever since.
F1 president and former Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali has actually sent Binotto a message to “believe in himself”, due to having faced similar criticism at the end of his tenure with Ferrari.
Incredibly, Domenicali is the last Ferrari team principal to win a title, something he did in 2008 with Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen claiming the Constructors’ title.
The Italian has called for Ferrari to “find the right solution” to the issues, with the sport needing the famous side to “be competitive”.
“Of course when you are second in Ferrari, it is something that is not enough,” Domenicali explained to Sky Sports F1.
“I was in the same position many years ago, and I want [Binotto] to stay focused and believe in himself.
“I don’t want to get into the dynamic of the team, but for sure, I want to wish him the best for the future.
“I really hope that Ferrari will find the right solution to stay on-track and focus, as they [have done] a big recovery from where they were two years ago (sixth in the 2020 season).
“We need Ferrari to be competitive, to have a good, strong team with strong drivers to fight against the others.
“I am sure there will be more teams fighting for first and other positions [in 2023] – that is the dream.”