A report from Italy claims there is currently doubt surrounding Mattia Binotto’s future as Ferrari team principal, with the team having fallen out of form.
A claim from Leo Turrini, a journalist long associated with the inner workings at Ferrari, believes the length of time without titles could prompt a change at the top of the team – particularly given how competitive they were at the start of the season.
The team started Formula 1’s new era with a title-challenging car in the F1-75, but a series of strategic and driver errors throughout the season have seen Red Bull seize the initiative over the Scuderia as the season has progressed, with Max Verstappen eventually winning the title with four races to spare.
With Mercedes having seemingly leapfrogged Ferrari in terms of outright performance in recent races, Turrini believes change could be afoot at the team – although his personal view is it would be an error to remove the current team principal.
“For sure, John Elkann (Ferrari chairman) will make Mattia Binotto weigh the Mercedes one-two in Brazil,” said Turrini in an interview with CalcioMercato in Italy.
“There’s a lot of chatter around and it’s inevitable – the World Championship has been missing for the Rossa for too long. But it would be a mistake.
“Change for change’s sake is no guarantee of victory. And the 2023 car is already ready. But I want to be frank – Binotto should only stay if he has the full confidence of top management.”
When asked about potential successors at Ferrari, Turrini responded: “There are many self-nominations! We’ll see, we’ll see…”
Would a change at the top work for Ferrari?
What the 2022 season has made abundantly clear, and the views of many pundits from the world of Formula 1 agree, is something at Ferrari has to change.
Whether or not Binotto has to be the fall guy for such a decision is up for debate, however, but as the figurehead of the Formula 1 side of the Scuderia, his desk is where the buck ultimately stops.
The shortcomings have been clear all season long, and they have predominantly been in race strategy. Too many times have we heard the drivers debating their strategy during the race over team radio and an almost open-ended approach by Ferrari for how their races have been run.
This indecision has almost certainly cost them race victories this season and if Mercedes show the form in Abu Dhabi they took to Brazil, a 20-point swing in Mercedes’ favour could see Ferrari somehow finish third in what has been a two-horse race all season long.
If, and it is still an ‘if’ at this point, that happens, then the inquest at the Scuderia will be long and changes would have to be made. Whether or not Binotto is the person in the firing line, though, remains to be seen.