Mattia Binotto receives formal Alpine offer as F1 return looks imminent

Mattia Binotto has been without a job since leaving Ferrari at the end of 2022.

Ex-Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has been heavily linked with the vacant Alpine team principal role, following the firing of Otmar Szafnauer.

Szafnauer was fired by the Enstone-based team ahead of qualifying at the recent Belgian Grand Prix, as was now ex-sporting director Alan Permane.

The double firing came as a huge shock, especially has Alpine informed that the duo would leave after the Grand Prix.

Szafnauer seemingly had other plans, as he was spotted leaving Spa-Francorchamps before the race got underway.

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The ex-Aston Martin team principal was fired after just 18 months in his Alpine role, which had been going relatively well.

The Romanian-American led the French team to fourth in the Constructors’ Championship in 2022, whilst they’d enjoyed some good results in 2023.

However, following rapid progress made by Aston Martin and McLaren, Szafnauer departed Alpine with the side sitting sixth in the Constructors’ Championship.

Alpine haven’t been bad by any means, but they’ve not exactly set the world alight.

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Nevertheless, his firing wasn’t expected, neither was previously harsh comments by former CEO Laurent Rossi.

Rossi was highly critical of Szafnauer prior to being removed from his CEO role, with him having since been moved elsewhere.

Perhaps Alpine saw sacking Szafnauer has necessary given that Binotto is on the market, after the Italians left Ferrari at the end of 2022.

Whilst Binotto left the Maranello-based team on his own accord, it’s believed that he was given a choice to either leave he be fired.

Frederic Vasseur was signed to replace Binotto, who hasn’t been seen much this year.

However, according to French media outlet L’Auto Journal and respected Italian journalist Leo Turrini, that is soon set to change.

Both understand that Binotto has already agreed to become Alpine’s new team principal, with Turrini admitting that the move “does not surprise me”.

“In France, they’re saying Binotto has already reached an agreement with Alpine,” Turrini wrote in his Quotidiano Nazionale column.

“I’m writing about it because it does not surprise me. There is no doubt that he is smart.

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“If in Luca de Meo he finds a mentor and he learns to listen to others, he is able to achieve great success,” Turrini added.

L’Auto Journal have even reported that Binotto has supposedly received an offer from Luca de Meo, Alpine co-owner Renault’s CEO.

Binotto was even seen at the Belgian GP and stayed at the track for the Pirelli tyre test which followed.