‘Mattia Binotto catching the bullets’: Ex-Ferrari chairman calls for change in Maranello

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto is coming under increasing pressure following the team's 2022 disappointment.

Ferrari’s somewhat disappointing 2022 season isn’t entirely team principal Mattia Binotto’s fault according to former Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo, who puts the blame on current chairman John Elkann.

The Italian’s will come to regret the current season, after arguably throwing away both championships to Red Bull.

Ferrari built a magnificent car for the brand-new regulations, which has proved time and time again this season to be breathtakingly fast; however, it’s also proven to be incredibly unreliable.

The Scuderia seemingly went for performance over reliability when designing this season’s power unit, which has blown up on several occasions, costing Charles Leclerc victory twice this season.

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Reliability hasn’t been the team’s only issue; their strategies have also been comically woeful at times.

Despite the team’s strategies having been questioned by the media on several occasions, Binotto has also remained confident that nothing needs changing.

Former Ferrari president Di Montezemolo doesn’t see it as his place to say whether Binotto needs to be replaced, after comparing Ferrari to a “national monument”.

“Should the team manager be changed? Who am I to say,” commented Di Montezemolo to L’Equipe.

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“Ferrari is like the Italian flag, a national monument. Before I brought Jean Todt to Maranello in 1993, I thought about this choice for a long time. There was a huge circus in the media. If I was looking for a new boss, I would look outside Formula 1.

“However, if we only look at what Red Bull Racing or Mercedes-Benz are doing, the problem will not be solved. We have to reinvent ourselves, create a new dynamic.

“Ferrari have built an extremely competitive car. One person alone does not win World Championship titles. Formula 1 is a team sport.”

Whilst talking to L’Equipe, Di Montezemolo gave the impression that perhaps Binotto isn’t actually suited to the role of team principal, with the Italian being an “excellent technical director”.

“Mattia Binotto is intelligent enough to always protect his team,” said the former Ferrari president.

“He catches the bullets for his people. You have to understand mistakes and then clean them up. Binotto is an excellent technical director, but running Ferrari’s racing department is different.”

Whilst president of Ferrari, Di Montezemolo was very much a hands-on sort of character, the complete opposite of Elkann.

Elkann has a hands-off style in regard to the F1 team, something that it would appear Di Montezemolo doesn’t agree with.

The Italian is certain that you need “passion and dedication” whilst in the role, as well as being “present”, something which Elkann rarely is.

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“Formula 1 is something very special,” added the Italian.

“Just being a good manager or marketing man, that doesn’t guarantee success in the premier class,” said Di Montezemolo.

“You need passion and dedication. You need to be present day and night. You have to be very political in your approach to support your team. You have to be strong and keep your squad together.”