Mattia Binotto defends Ferrari resignation amid tensions with Charles Leclerc

Mattia Binotto will officially leave Ferrari on 31 December, and his replacement is yet to be confirmed.

The pressure was mounting on Ferrari to seek new leadership in 2023, after an internal capitulation caused by the team’s decision-making left star driver Charles Leclerc and team principal Mattia Binotto on non-speaking terms.

Ferrari issued a statement dismissing rumours that they were looking to replace Binotto after their failure to mount a season-long title challenge in 2022, despite pressure from fans to make a change.

Bizarrely, only days after this message of support, the Scuderia announced that they had accepted the resignation of Mattia Binotto, with the Swiss set to depart the team at the end of the calendar year.

Binotto has now released a statement following his resignation as team principal, claiming that his decision to leave Ferrari was one of the most difficult choices he has ever had to make.

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“I am leaving a company that I love, which I have been part of for 28 years, with the serenity that comes from the conviction that I have made every effort to achieve the objectives set,” began the statement.

“I leave a united and growing team. A strong team, ready, I’m sure, to achieve the highest goals, to which I wish all the best for the future. I think it is right to take this step at this time as hard as this decision has been for me.”

It has been suggested the Binotto jumped before he was pushed, as Ferrari looked to ensure a respectful departure for the man who had progressed all the way from a student to a team principal during his time with Ferrari.

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Leclerc’s grudge with Binotto reportedly stems from the team’s poor decision making, which cost the Monegasque driver a plethora of points over the course of the season.

The team’s decision not to pit Leclerc at Silverstone cost him a shot at the race win, while a strange tyre choice in Monaco saw Leclerc drop out of the podium places when a home Grand Prix victory finally looked possible.

Binotto has fired a parting shot at Ferrari after his resignation, claiming that his decision to stop developing the 2022 car, which saw the team become less competitive towards the end of the season, will pay dividends in the form of a development head start for 2023.