Former Ferrari team boss back in the paddock and he’s visiting…

Michelle Foster
Mattia Binotto chatting with Pirelli. Britain July 2023

Former Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto chatting with Pirelli. Britain July 2023

Former Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto was back at the scene of the Scuderia’s penultimate F1 victory, the Italian spotted spending time with Pirelli in the Silverstone paddock.

Binotto was the biggest casualty in Ferrari’s failure to capture the 2022 titles with the Italian falling on his sword in the wake of what turned out to be an enormous loss to Red Bull.

Although Ferrari led the championship in the early part of the season, Charles Leclerc holding a 46-point lead over Max Verstappen in the early races, he would ultimately go on to lose by 146 points such was Ferrari’s fall from grace.

Former Ferrari team boss chatting with Pirelli

Amidst a barrage of reliability failings and strategy shortfalls, both Leclerc and his team-mate Carlos Sainz compounded that with on-track mistakes of their own.

With Binotto’s job reportedly on the line as early as the summer break, he lasted through to the end of the season before handing in his resignation in what was seen as a case of walking rather than being pushed.

Almost immediately the 53-year-old was linked to Audi, who are set to replace Ferrari as Sauber’s engine supplier as they take over the team in its entirety come 2026.

That came with reports that Binotto wasn’t impressed with what he saw and opted out, rumours that were quickly denied by Audi.

But having fallen off the F1 radar since, Binotto was back in the paddock at Silverstone where he was spotted by photographers spending time with Pirelli.

There is, however, no suggestion – at least not yet – that the former Ferrari engineer will be swapping his car knowhow for tyre input.

Binotto’s visit to Pirelli comes in the wake of his replacement Fred Vasseur’s speaking to about the importance of the tyres in Ferrari’s quest to close the gap to Red Bull.

“Tyres are a key parameter for performance,” said the Frenchman.

“When you change something, even if you test somewhere, the effect always depends on the asphalt, the layout, etc.

“It means that we are always a bit blind when there is something new: it could be a positive surprise or a negative one.”

Next season Pirelli could introduce new tyres with rubber that can deal with the forthcoming – but as yet still to be voted on – tyre blanket ban.

That vote will take place after the British Grand Prix tyre test.

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