Where are they now? The last 10 F1 team bosses to leave their roles

Sam Cooper
Claire Williams, Mattia Binotto and Cyril Abiteboul

Life at the top can be difficult for many F1 team bosses.

In the past few years, team principals have joined football managers in terms of job volatility but where do former bosses land once they’ve been given the boot?

To make things easier, we are only counting principals who have left the role and not taken up the same position in another company. So for example, Fred Vasseur is not present but Andreas Seidl is.

Franz Tost has also been skipped as he has only been retired for a matter of weeks. So with those rules in mind, let’s take a look at the last 10 team principals to leave their job.

Otmar Szafnauer – Alpine (February 2022 – July 2023)

The one man who would appear twice on the list is the most recent to lose his job with Alpine announcing the surprise decision to give Otmar Szafnauer the sack after a failure to agree on the timeline for the team’s turnaround.

For the meantime, Bruno Famin stepped into his role on an interim basis but Alpine have announced he will stay in the role into 2024.

As for Szafnauer, with such little time from now until his departure, it is no surprise to see him not back in a role just yet but he has been spotted in the paddock on a few occasions in the second half of the season.

Speaking in August, Szafnauer told Speedcafe that he was serving out a 12-month gardening leave period but has had conversations about a possible return.

Mattia Binotto – Ferrari (January 2019 – December 2022)

Another man spotted in the paddock since his F1 departure is Mattia Binotto, who was a frequent guest during the 2023 season.

But the question everyone wanted to know was, who was he there to see?

Dressed in his civvies, it was hard to tell the purpose of Binotto being in the garage aside from his enjoyment of the sport – but he has been linked with moves to F1 itself, Alpine and Audi.

Andreas Seidl – McLaren (January 2019 – December 2022)

After a three-year stint at Mclaren, Seidl switched to Sauber ahead of their merger with Audi.

Seidl was team principal at McLaren but joined Sauber as CEO for a return to the Hinwil base he called home when working for BMW.

Jost Capito – Williams (December 2020 – December 2022)

Jost Capito was a surprise departure from the paddock after the 2022 season with no rumour suggesting any kind of exit was on the cards previously.

He was in charge during a difficult time for Williams with them going through a merger and a car behind on pace, but Capito navigated the ship as best he could.

Since disappearing from the paddock not much has been heard from the German but in an interview with AutoBild in February, he hinted he would be welcome to returning.

“I’ll have to see what I do. I would like to be of some help somewhere, maybe in an advisory role,” he said.

“Just help out a little bit. But not in such a big company anymore, with so many people and all the day-to-day business.”

Cyril Abiteboul – Renault (July 2014 – December 2021)

Another departure out of the blue was Cyril Abiteboul who, after a 20-year association with Renault, departed in the 2021 off-season.

Abiteboul was one of the more memorable members of the paddock having gotten into more than one argument with Christian Horner due to Red Bull’s engine relationship with Renault, but the Frenchman did guide the constructor back to some form.

The most memorable example of this was a podium by Daniel Ricciardo at the 2020 Eifel Grand Prix which meant Abiteboul had to get a tattoo of the Australian’s choosing.

Since departing F1, Abiteboul has stayed in motorsport and currently heads up Hyundai Motorsport.

Frank and Claire Williams – Williams (January 1977 and January 2013 – September 2020)

Having been team principal since the team’s foundation in 1977, Sir Frank Williams recruited the help of his daughter Claire in 2013 when she was appointed deputy team principal.

But it was a difficult period for the team with the future of the constructor at stake as costs kept rising. Their last win came in 2012 with Pastor Maldonado but in 2020, a Williams family member was not in control for the first time in history when they sold the team to Dorilton Capital and in stepped Jost Capito.

Sir Frank would pass away at the age of 79 a year later while Claire went on to become a brand ambassador for Williams Advanced Engineering in 2013.

Maurizio Arrivabene – Ferrari (November 2014 – December 2018)

Having left the Ferrari team principal role in January 2019, Arrivabene continued with another sporting passion in football club Juventus.

He was a board member of the club and was even CEO at one point but resigned in November 2022 when the entire board left as part of the Plusvalenza scandal.

Arrivabene was then given a two year ban from holding office in Italian football for his role in the affair.

Vijay Mallya – Force India (September 2007 – August 2018)

If you had to write a biography of any of the members of this list, Vijay Mallya would be up there with the most interesting alongside Sir Frank Williams – albeit for very different reasons.

Having bought the Spyker F1 team for €88 million in 2007, Mallya acted as team principal but it would end in tears when he was accused of fraud and defaulting on loans.

As a result, he could not afford to continue to run Force India and sold it to a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll.

Things would get worse for Mallya though as he was arrested in April 2017 facing extradition charges back to his native India. In May, the Supreme Court of India found Mallya guilty of contempt of court and summoned him…which he also failed to appear at.

In the same year, he was arrested In London on a money laundering allegation. In July 2022, he was sentenced to four months in jail in India and a fine of $40 million with eight percent interest for disobeying an earlier court judgement.

Éric Boullier – McLaren (January 2014 – July 2018)

Arguably the worst McLaren team principal in the team’s history left in 2018 with the constructor in disarray.

Boullier had been with McLaren since leaving Lotus in 2014 but it was a terrible time for the team and one which made Fernando Alonso want to quit the sport.

He resigned in 2018 and went on to become managing director of the company behind the French Grand Prix.

Monisha Kaltenborn – Sauber (October 2012 – June 2017)

Not only was Monisha Kaltenborn the first female team principal but she shared something in common with Toto Wolff in that she was part owner at the same time.

Kaltenborn bought a 33.3% stake in Sauber and was appointed team principal in October 2012 when Peter Sauber stepped down.

The Austrian’s tenure lasted until June 2017 when she left the team having sold her share the year before to Longbow Finance S.A.

After leaving F1, Kaltenborn formed her own racing team called KDC Racing in 2018 and competed in the Italian and ADAC Formula 4 championships but the team folded in the same year.

Now she is CEO of Racing Unleashed, a e-motorsport company.

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