Team boss silly season: One shock confirmed, another reportedly still to come…

Michelle Foster
Williams team boss Jost Capito and Alfa Romeo's Fred Vasseur laughing. France July 2022

Williams team boss Jost Capito and Alfa Romeo's Fred Vasseur laughing. France July 2022

2022 saw the Formula 1 drivers engage in one of the most intriguing silly seasons in years, if ever, all sparked by Sebastian Vettel’s decision to quit Formula 1.

Now it’s the turn of the team bosses, Mattia Binotto’s resignation from Ferrari triggering several departures with at least one unexpected one, it is being said, that is yet to be announced.

After months of speculation, the result of Ferrari’s title quest imploding in a shower of DNFs and strategy blunders, Binotto and Ferrari announced on 29 November he had resigned, which always sounds so much nicer than ‘sacked’.

“Ferrari announces that it has accepted the resignation of Mattia Binotto who will leave his role as Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal on December 31,” read a brief statement.

Immediately it was speculated as to where he could go next, the Italian rumoured to be off to Audi. In fact Italian journalist Leo Turrini believes those talks are already talking place.

But he’s going to have some competition for that job – more on that to come.

Binotto’s hot seat has gone to Alfa Romeo-Sauber team boss Fred Vasseur, latest reports suggesting he put himself forward for it back in June already and by the summer break had a signed pre-agreement in place.

 

But, before that confirmation came the shocker that no one expected: Williams announced on 12 December that Jost Capito had stepped down as team principal following two years with the team.

No one saw that coming with Capito telling PlanetF1.com just days prior about his targets for the 2023 season with Williams and how “you never know what the others do but so far, we are quite optimistic that we can do a good step for the car.”

But given Williams once again found themselves holding the wooden spoon, perhaps Capito’s exit shouldn’t have come as too big a surprise, the Grove team saying his replacement will be “announced in due course”.

As for Capito, as a former Volkswagen chief and former Sauber employee, he’s already being linked to Vasseur’s Sauber job, the one that will soon become Audi, the one that Binotto is linked to.

But wait, there’s more… So too is Andreas Seidl! Didn’t see that coming did you?

According to Speedcafe.com, after four years with McLaren, the team will soon be announcing that the German will be leaving his post as team principal.

Seidl joined McLaren four years ago and was at the helm as the team claiming their first race win in more than 2,000 days when Daniel Ricciardo won last year’s Italian Grand Prix.

But like Ricciardo, Seidl is on his way out.

According to the report he is ‘poised to take up a role helping Audi enter F1, after the automaker announced its plans to enter the sport for the 2026 season with its own power unit and a relationship with Sauber Motorsport.’

Perhaps Audi haven’t heard the saying ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ given Binotto, Capito and Seidl are all rumoured to be coming onboard to replace Vasseur. Or perhaps Ferrari should realise what gold they have in the Frenchman given Sauber need potentially three team bosses to replace him.

It’s either that or Binotto’s off to McLaren, Seidl to Sauber-Audi, Capito to retire and Sebastian Vettel to head up Williams. After all he did set the silly season into play to begin with, he may as well end it.

Read more: Christian Horner reacts to Mattia Binotto’s imminent Ferrari departure