Mattia Binotto, Monza, 2018

Ferrari confirm Binotto has replaced Arrivabene as team principal

2019 F1 season

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Mattia Binotto has replaced Maurizio Arrivabene as Ferrari’s team principal, the team has confirmed.

As RaceFans reported earlier today, Arrivabene had declined to sign a new contract which was believed to reduce his responsibilities at the team.

A statement issued by Ferrari on Monday confirmed Arrivabene’s departure “after four years of untiring commitment and dedication.”

“The decision was taken together with the company’s top management after lengthy discussions related to Maurizio’s long-term personal interests as well as those of the team itself,” it added.

Arrivabene’s departure come after the team completed its 10th consecutive season without a championship victory. He has been in charge of their Formula 1 team since the end of 2014. They enjoyed two competitive seasons in 2017 and 2018 but were beaten to the championships by Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton.

“Ferrari would like to thank Maurizio for his valuable contribution to the team’s increasing competitiveness over the past few years, and wish him the best for his future endeavours,” the team added.

“With immediate effect, Mattia Binotto will take over as Scuderia Ferrari’s team principal. All technical areas will continue to report directly to Mattia.”

Binotto, 49, is 12 years younger than Arrivabene. He joined Ferrari in 1995 as part of its test team and was in charge of its engine operation before taking on the role of technical director in 2016, under Arrivabene.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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44 comments on “Ferrari confirm Binotto has replaced Arrivabene as team principal”

  1. One of my concerns with this would be Binotto not being a part of the technical team anymore. He played an important role in the revival of Ferrari on the technical side, and I wonder if it will suffer as a result of it. Surely as a team principal, you don’t tend to have much input into car development, but rather more on the political and management side. In a similar vein, Newey is a technical genius but doesn’t mean he should be team principal, as it doesn’t get the most out of him.

    1. But Brawn is a technical man and he did fine enough as a team principal @mashiat. I’d like to think that as technical director, especially at Ferrari, one would already have shown skill at people management and at politics to get that far!

      Also the other side of the coin you mention is, that a person who feels completely in touch with the technical developments might be able to understand what is happening fast enough to avoid their slump in form like the team had last season. Another point is, in most teams there is a boatload of engineers who want to show their skill, so moving one up only helps motivate them and gives them room to step up.

  2. I’m going to miss Maurizio at the helm, one of the best team principals of the recent past.

  3. Ah, now we see the traditional Ferrari back. Firing ppl when the last season didn’t deliver checked, we can now wait to renewed claims that THIS will be their season, that they deserve to win and possibly mentioning quitting F1 if they don’t get unfair advantages anymore in the future (veto, huge pile of extra money)

    1. @bascb, it is possible that there is more to this story though, as it seems that there have been a number of rumours in the Italian press for a few months now that had been linking Arrivabene with an enlarged role at the football club Juventus.

      Now, the former General Director, Giuseppe Marotta, left Juventus for Inter Milan at the end of October. Back in October, Exor, the largest stakeholder in Juventus, had put forward Arrivabene – who’s been a member of the Board of Directors for several years now – as one of their candidates to take over Marotta’s role at Juventus. Exor is, of course, closely associated with the Angelli family, and Arrivabene has multiple connections with the Angelli’s and with Exor.

      There has therefore been the suggestion that those “long-term personal interests” that Ferrari are referring to is the rumour that Arrivabene has been made the General Director of Juventus – if that is the case, in some senses it’s almost more like an internal transfer from one part of Exor to another.

    2. Remember McLaren? Mercedes? Renault? Sauber? Not that unusual…

  4. They’re not my favorite team but I liked Arrivabene and hate to see him go.

  5. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
    7th January 2019, 18:45

    Crazy to be switching again when they were on the up-and-up.
    This win-or-bin philosophy is not the way to promote a healthy work environment where a manager can build an empire, as they are forced to go all-in on every hand to try and save their job.
    It’s good that they are promoting a lifelong company figure rather than some Marlboro Man though. With 23 years in a red shirt they may be disinclined to fire him on the spot when 2019 turns out to be a ‘rebuilding year’

  6. With all due respect I’m glad to see Arrivabene be relieved of his duty. In such an international environment, he was poor in handeling the media and expressing himself. Marchionne although in another role, was much better in communicating his believe. In my opinion Arrivabene also made some questionable strategic calls.
    Binotto seems to have a lot of support from within Ferrari which points to him having great people-managing skills as well as his obvious tech-knowhow. I think Ferrari will do great under him.

    1. HK… I think this is a much more positive assessment of this event than many here…

  7. Yay, standard Ferrari panic is back!

    “Who cares the form was going up, we didn’t win! FIRE SOMEONE NOOWW!”

    1. @losd That was my first thought too even though Arrivabene has done a lot to change this blame / decimation -culture (all credit to him), but I believe he went too much the other way when some hard decisions were necessary like changing their useless strategist(s), and putting Vettel first and Raikkonen second (which in reality cost them Monza and with it the championship momentum).

  8. Ugh. This does not bode well for 2019. Most of the Scuderias mistakes were made by Vettel. Ok, yes, the updates to the car didn’t pan out and yes, they reverted back to the old spec and won, but I wouldn’t put that on Arrivabene. I think this will destabilize the team and they will suffer, at least through the first races. As other have said, glad they promoted from within, but they should be firing the chief strategist, not the team principal.

    1. We cant tell from the outside.

      There were rumours that Vettel had to keep the team in order at race days, to make sure everything and everyone performed.
      If he cant handle that pressure whilst driving, thats on the team principal.

      Vettel just suddenly hasnt forgotten to drive, there is something else that RB was able to give him, that Ferrari has been missing.
      For his, Leclerc and the rest of Ferrari, I hope this was the right move.

      1. IMO these past 2 years have confirmed what many have always suspected about Vettel- he cracks under pressure. You forget that during the RBR days he was the clear #1 with Webber and they were the class of the field. These past 2 seasons there hasn’t been much to choose between the two leading teams- it’s been a proper WDC dogfight and Vettel has been found lacking

      2. I think you are right on this one.

        There were some blatant trackside errors, two of which spring into my mind which could have easily been resolved by Arrivabene:
        Germany: Vettel was stuck behind Raikonnen for 10+? laps even though both were on a different strategy, losing time and tire life, which would have been invaluable in the rain that was to come later.
        Monza: Vettel giving Raikonnen a tow in Qualifiying, no strategy at the start for the two Ferrari Drivers to fend of Hamilton

  9. Stephen Higgins
    7th January 2019, 19:22

    Somewhere in Brackley Toto Wolff has just poured himself a large brandy, sat back in his favourite armchair snuggling up with Suzie … and started grinning to himself.

    1. Toto is basically a supervillian isn’ t he?
      *heavy german accent*
      No, I expect you to die Mr. Vettel

  10. Arrivabene had almost zero technical background. He may have had decent management skills but I think having someone like Binotto, who has an extensive technical background working with the drivers, mechanics, and all of the technical team at the track on a daily basis is a GREAT move.

    1. What technical background does Toto have?

      1. Toto doesn’t need any, he recruited all of the other team’s technical directors to do that for him.

      2. GufDamm – are you seriously offering this comment as some kind of defence of “Addiovabene”…?
        So… maybe Toto has far superior management skills.
        Or maybe you’re just making an opportunity to attack someone else, without really responding to Kenny’s comment… ;-)

  11. How about giving Briatore a go? Could probably get unbanned by the FIA as he would make a great pantomime villain. He’d even get his protege back into the red team.

    1. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
      7th January 2019, 21:57

      He is unbanned already, has been since 2010, but he expressed he doesn’t want to be back in F1, and niether should we want him back, TBH. Crashgate, every scandal involving Benetton in 1994 and the farce surrounding Trulli in 2004 have been enough

      1. @justarandomdutchguy, he is and he isn’t – whilst not explicitly banned, under the “competitor registration” process, individuals in certain senior roles at a team (such as the team principal) have to have a ‘Certificate of Registration’ from the FIA before they can take up that role.

        Now, the FIA does note that they have the right to refuse to accept an application, and then gives a list of examples of possible behaviour that would lead to a certificate being revoked. One of the examples so given is “giving instructions to a driver or other member of a Competitor’s staff with the intention or with the likely result of causing an accident, collision or crash or a race to be stopped or suspended” – a not exactly subtle hint that any application by Briatore would be rejected.

        It is therefore the case that, whilst Briatore isn’t explicitly banned, the registration system is effectively a permanent ban on him taking up a senior management role in any team in all but name.

  12. Honestly, I am starting to think that Vettel did those mistakes after Spa because of how disorganized Ferrari was. They had just been hit by Marchionne’s death. Now, instead of continuing with Arrivabene who has been very successful in his tenure given how he found Ferrari in 2014 and replace with Binotto. Classic Ferrari to be honest.

  13. Like @partofthepuzzle I also think that this is a great move. Binotto will make a great team principal, and Ferrari could not risk losing him. (I probably know very little of this, but I guess that If I had to choose between Binotto and Arrivabene I would have done the same).
    I don’t know about Mekies, but with Binotto, Vettel and Leclerc, Ferrari is shaping up as a very strong team.

    1. And if they don’t sweep all before them next year, what excuse will they give?

    2. @nugolo, I do agree that, at the very least, it does feel a bit as if people are only reacting to the headline announcement – that around Arrivabene and Binotto – and have simply said that it is a bad decision because it represents a change from the current course of the team.

      Binotto has demonstrated that he is a quite capable individual – he is cited as leading Ferrari’s revival in terms of engine design, and is also cited as having had significant impact with their two most recent cars. There have been suggestions that Mercedes and Renault seem to have both made approaches to him in recent years, and it seems that Binotto had been earmarked for a while as a replacement for Arrivabene by Marchionne as Marchionne saw in Binotto a man who had a number of the qualities that Ross Brawn had when he joined Ferrari.

      There have also been a few suggestions that Vettel’s downturn in form may perhaps have been linked to disputes with Arrivabene as well, whom it seems was starting to take a more authoritarian approach and starting to stifle parts of the team. Whilst some have gone with the line “oh, typical Ferrari, firing everybody if something goes wrong”, it may be that getting rid of Arrivabene has avoided that scenario instead – Arrivabene is being suggested as being more of an authoritarian figure who’d be harder on those below him, whereas it seems that Binotto has more popular support and a better feel for the personal dynamics of the team.

      In some respects, whilst there may be some short term difficulties, you are right that, in the longer term, this potentially could be quite a promising development for the team.

      1. Well said.

      2. Adding to what you have said here, people also forget that after Sergio saw what Binotto did in the engine department he was moved to a position to oversee the chassis and engine integration.
        Also I feel Arrivabene handled the team badly at some points last year e.g allowing Kimi the tow at Monza it was an invite to allow Mercedes win the race which eventually happened not in a million years would Horner or even Toto allowed that to happen.

        1. This and the post it responds to. Well said, guys. I’m also excited to see Binotto take over.

      3. Hi Anon – good to see another positive comment here. There’s too much negativity in the world.

      4. Very interesting, Mr. Anon. Thanks for the information.

  14. Perhaps this move is related to the changes in F1 regulations in 2021. Perhaps they see a better fit in Binotto to get an upper hand, at least better than Arrivabene could. If they can cash a WDC or WCC in the meantime, that is a plus right now. I see Vettel leaving Ferrari very, very soon.

    1. VET will win multiple titles in red before ending his carreer with a Merc crown, something ROS robbed MSC from (handing it to HAM)…

  15. I’m not sure I’d want the team principal role at Ferrari given the pressure from above and the fans.

    I wish Binotto the very best of luck and hope he’s given a fair run by both Ferrari’s management and the fans alike. I suspect he’s going to have his hands full with a new driver, a new season and the possibility that the new regulations may clip their wings a little (oil burning and new aero).

  16. Despite my earlier concerns at Arrivabene being replaced (in the preceding article), seeing the comments above from anon and others, I am now hopeful that while this is indeed another TP change, its motivations appear to be different and not a knee-jerk reaction. Fingers crossed that Ferrari are able to move forward and upward with this new leadership.

  17. Paying the price for Vettel’s mistakes. Nice…

  18. “Addiovabene”
    [Hope nobody sees this as a negative comment… ;-) ]

  19. A bit off-topic, but all the talk about strategy errors

    I was playing F1 2018 and driving the Ferrari when it started raining during the race. Got called into the pits and was equipped with a brand new set of dry tyres. went from leading the race to the bottom. Couldnt stop laughing as Strat errors seem part of the DNA

    1. I don’t understand how people are blaming Ferrari for strategic errors this season. They made as many as Mercedes did.

      1. If you think this there’s no way you’ll understand why so many people are blaming Ferrari… ;-)

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