Ferrari have officially begun the search for yet another team principal, with Mattia Binotto’s resignation from the team having been announced earlier in the week on Tuesday morning.
Binotto’s reign as Ferrari boss will conclude at the end of the year, marking a sad end to his 28-year relationship with the Maranello-based team.
The Italian joined Ferrari as an intern originally in 1995, before working his way through the ranks at Maranello.
Whilst his promotion to team principal has been questioned since day one, Binotto is undoubtedly an incredible technical officer.
It’s likely that he’ll become a technical officer at whatever side he pops up at, with reports that he’s in talks with Audi and potentially Mercedes.
The most fascinating thing of all is that Binotto resigned from the role, instead of being sacked, with there supposedly having been no trust between Binotto and Ferrari president John Elkann.
Speaking at the Guild of Motoring Writers’ Annual Awards dinner, ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle admitted that the whole situation “looks a little bit strange”, given that Ferrari have lost such a talented person.
“You’re working for a country there at Ferrari, not just a team, of course,” said Brundle, who was made an honorary member of the Guild.
“They’ve lost their chief technical officer and their team principal, so unless they have got somebody very, very good to replace him straightaway, it all looks a little bit strange. But that’s the nature of it.”
Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur is tipped as the favourite to replace Binotto in 2023, with Ferrari perhaps wanting to try someone who isn’t Italian.
Despite the need to speak Italian in the role, Brundle questions if going for a non-native speaker is something the side should consider, based on the amount of success they’ve enjoyed when under the leadership of the likes of Jean Todt, Ross Brawn, and Rory Byrne.
“You’ve got to speak Italian,” he said.
“And I think the problem is, if you look back at when they were last successful, they had a Frenchman in Jean Todt, a Brit in Ross Brawn, a South African with Rory Byrne and so on.
“Maybe that’s what they need again, something like that: people who are not completely exposed to the daily Italian media.”