Ferrari needs a great result at the Hungarian GP, not only to kick off its season but also save Mattia Binotto’s job.
Although Ferrari entered the 2020 championship stating that it was on the back foot, off the pace of the likes of Mercedes and Ferrari, it was worse than that in the opening two races.
At both races at the Red Bull Ring, the Austrian and Styrian GPs, Ferrari only managed to get one car into Q3 with the other driver down in 11th place.
The lack of pace continued in the grand prix, at least the Austrian one, where Charles Leclerc finished second but more as a result of the misfortune of others.
As for the Styrian Grand Prix, Ferrari recorded a double DNF as Leclerc clattered into Sebastian Vettel on the opening lap.
Ferrari’s wretched start to the season could see the axe fall on team boss Binotto.
According to Italy’s Corriere della Sera, Ferrari bosses John Elkann and Louis Camilleri ‘already working on an alternative in case the situation worsens with the name of Antonello Coletta, the current manager of Ferrari’s GT competitions, circulating’.
Labelling Binotto a ‘silent leader who is not used to moving around the F1 tables’, the Italian’s days in charge could be numbered.
The man in charge, Corriere reports that while the likes of Mercedes have used innovation to revolutionise things like the steering wheel with DAS, Ferrari’s ‘creative streak has dried up’.
‘In the double role of team principal and technical coordinator, Binotto relies on five men to manage the team: Enrico Cardile (aerodynamics), Simone Resta (chassis), Enrico Gualtieri (power unit), Matteo Togninalli (chief of the engineers on the track) and Laurent Mekies (sports director)’ but there is a ‘differences of views’ in what path needs to be taken.
‘The confusion is weighed down by twelve months in which Binotto has spent enormous energies in political battles: the 2021 rule changes postponed to 2022, the budget cap, the new Concorde Agreement.
‘Finally, the exhausting FIA investigation on 2019 engines which concluded with a secret agreement and the consequences are being felt today. There is almost certainty that most of the problems arise from having designed the aerodynamics and chassis based on the power levels of the old power unit. To then have been forced to change that due to the new directives and much of the horsepower went missing.
‘In this perspective, it is incomprehensible that he endorsed the freezing of engines and frames for the current two-year period.’
Coletta, born on 27 February 1967 in Rome, worked with Peugeot and Alfa Romeo before joining Ferrari in 1997 as coordinator of the Ferrari Challenge, a position he held until 2003 when he became head of the Ferrari Corse Clienti department.
In 2014 he took on a new role of head of the Sporting Activity Department, which brings together the Formula 1 operation and those of the Corse Cliente – Ferrari Challenge, GT races, F1 Clienti and the XX Programmes.