Binotto vs. Arrivabene – one has to go (4th Update)

Arrivabene willing to let Binotto go to get Costa back?
Arrivabene gets the axe

UPDATE This rumor is now upgraded to 'fact' with this Ferrari Announcement:

After four years of untiring commitment and dedication, Maurizio Arrivabene is leaving the team. The decision was taken together with the company’s top management after lengthy discussions related to Maurizio’s long term personal interests as well as those of the team itself.

Ferrari would like to thank Maurizio for his valuable contribution to the team’s increasing competitiveness over the past few years, and wish him the best for his future endeavors.

With immediate effect, Mattia Binotto will take over as Scuderia Ferrari’s Team Principal. All technical areas will continue to report directly to Mattia. Ferrari

Arrivabene, 61, had been director of the team since Dec. '14, joining from main sponsor Philip Morris, where he was a VP. He was in charge of Ferrari "while the team enjoyed a revival in competitiveness in the last two seasons."

But he was "widely seen within F1 as a Ferrari figurehead only," with the real power instead resting with former President Sergio Marchionne, who "masterminded a reshuffle of the technical department" in '16 but died from complications during surgery for cancer last July.

Following Marchionne's death, there was "known to be a power struggle" between Arrivabene and Binotto.

Binotto, 49, had been approached by other teams, and Ferrari Chair John Elkann decided that "continuing with Marchionne's plan was the best option"

Mattia Binotto
Mattia Binotto to be the new boss of the Ferrari F1 team

01/07/19 This rumor is upgraded to 'strong' today. As we have reported below, dissent at Maranello has reached the point of no return with word from Ferrari that Maurizio Arrivabene will relinquish his position as team principal as the conflict between him and technical chief Mattia Binotto is, apparently, unsustainable now.

Gazzetta dell Sport expect a decision on the leadership stalemate, at the sport’s most successful team, as early as this week, possibly even today.

Under the headline: “Ferrari, what a revolution! Arrivabene out, Binotto in charge" correspondent Luigi Pena wrote, “Cohabitation between Arrivabene and Binotto cannot continue. However, it was much more difficult to predict the sudden turnaround that has developed in recent hours at Maranello."

The report goes on to say, “Perhaps the change at the top could be announced even today, with the current team principal replaced by what until last year was the technical director of the team."

Tensions between the two have escalated, causing divisions within the Scuderia, creating an atmosphere of uncertainty in recent weeks and before the Christmas holidays."

Pena concludes, “The turning point was the non-renewal of Arrivabene’s contract, which until September seemed solid with the former Marlboro man firmly in the driving seat."

It is unclear who will replace Binotto as head of Ferrari's technical department, but there are suggestions the team may elect to hand more responsibility to aero chief Enrico Cardile and the head of its engine department Corrado Iotti, or will Ferrari steal Aldo Costa back from Mercedes as we have speculated was their plan all along.

12/12/18 In an editorial for Corriere della Serra, penned by Daniele Sparisci and Giorgio Terruzzi, the pair warned that the internal fight between Arrivabene and Binotto could lead to Mercedes winning again in 2019.

However, the two missed the bigger story behind the scenes – why did Aldo Costa step back from Mercedes and move back to Italy to be with his family? This next year he will just be a consultant to Mercedes, a year we view as his mandatory gardening leave between teams so as not to bring Mercedes latest secrets to Ferrari. sources says Arrivabene has his eye on Costa for 2020 and Binotto knows it.

However, none of that is addressed by Sparisci and Terruzzi who wrote: “A deafening silence reigns. In particular, at Maranello, where the F1 winter break sees them more mute than normal. Unspoken words often end up feeding gossip and indiscretions, they make even more noise."

“The 2019 single-seater is practically ready, from the wind-tunnel it appears the first impressions are positive. There is also an impatient 20-year-old Charles Leclerc and a four-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel, one in search of identity and the other redemption."

“So why so much privacy after they said we need to open up more? Or perhaps they first have to get their house in order.

“The task is for President John Elkann. Lately, the Agnelli heir has increased the frequency of his visits to Maranello. This is the Ferrari family jewel and he must keep it shining.

“He inherited the team built by Sergio Marchionne but has not been involved in anything in recent months. His public appearances have been very rare, but now he has to step up and restore peace and take control of the team."

Ferrari, through Maurizio Arrivabene, have always denied splits and feuds within the team. He branded the speculation about the exit of technical director Mattia Binotto as fake news.

“But the engineer from Reggio [Binotto] requested a meeting to ascertain his future with the team because up and down the F1 paddock there are those keen on his talents and expertise, with Mercedes top of that list.

“It is also known he would like to stay to continue the unfinished mission: to bring the Formula 1 World Championship to Via Emilia. To do so, requires clarity, protection of roles and peace within the ranks.

“Remember [Binotto] did not appreciate the public criticism of the car by Vettel and Arrivabene, as if the defeat to Mercedes was only due to technical reasons. This hurt.

“Elkann can choose to confirm the tandem leadership of Arrivabene and Binotto, making all the necessary adjustments so the two work together with greater harmony for the forthcoming championship.

“The other options? Confirm the full support of Arrivabene and run the risk that Binotto will leave. Or dismiss the team principal to safeguard the technical department.

“But who would replace Arrivabene as team principal? Apparently not Binotto, who has never publicly manifested interest in the role. Whatever the case decisions need to be taken quickly."

Aldo Costa back to Italy and Ferrari?
Aldo Costa back to Italy and Ferrari? Binotto to Mercedes?

12/10/18 (GMM) Whispers of discord at Maranello are continuing, even after the end of the 2018 season.

As pundits do their analysis of where Ferrari's title campaign went wrong, many have pointed to a rift between team boss Maurizio Arrivabene and technical director Mattia Binotto.

And Corriere della Sera, an Italian daily, says that argument is not yet over.

"In the days after Abu Dhabi, Binotto asked for a meeting with his bosses to understand how to proceed," correspondents Daniele Sparisci and Giorgio Terruzzi revealed.

They said Binotto is being isolated not only by Arrivabene but also Sebastian Vettel, with the latter disagreeing with those who think his 2018 car was a match for Mercedes.

"If you have a global vision of the whole year, I think we were still very far away," said Vettel at the weekend.

Corriere della Sera believes Binotto "has received offers from various teams, but he would like to stay to continue the unfinished mission".

"To do so, he requires clarity, a protection of roles and serenity in the environment," the correspondents added.

Ferrari clearly struggled in the wake of president Sergio Marchionne's death this year, with new chief John Elkann now stepping into that gap.

"Lately he has increased the frequency of his visits to Maranello," the correspondents revealed, referring to Elkann.

"He inherited the organisation of the team but has not touched anything in recent months while his public appearances were very rare. But now he has been called on to restore serenity and strength."

12/04/18 Rumor has it that Mercedes and Ferrari will do a swap of their top designers.

Mercedes have announced a change of team structure in their technical departments, with Aldo Costa & Mark Ellis choosing to move on – Costa to a technical advisory role based in Italy (to be with his family again), and Ellis to a full F1 sabbatical. Both were instrumental in the design of the World Championship Mercedes cars of 2014 to 2017.

Aldo Costa joined Mercedes from Ferrari in 2011, having been with them since 1995. He was with Minardi before joining Ferrari. Toto Wolff paid tribute to the work done by Costa during his time at Mercedes: “Since the early days of 2013, Aldo and I have shared many dinners in Oxford as fellow European exiles, as well as some amazing days in the car at the Mille Miglia last year. I have got to know not just an outstanding individual but also somebody who has taught me so much about Formula One and the humility it takes in order to be successful."

Ellis, outgoing Performance Director, joined Mercedes from Red Bull Racing at the end of Sebastian Vettel’s championship streak, having been with them since 2008. Prior to that he worked with BAR & Jaguar.

But why are they really leaving you might ask?

Earlier this year we reported about the power struggle at Ferrari after the death of Sergio Marchionne.

In a nutshell, technical director Mattia Binotto was rumored to be taking over as team principal from next season, but when the Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne unexpectedly died in July, Maurizio Arrivabene played the internal politics to perfection and kept his position.

At the time Arrivabene rubbished the reports of friction with Binotto, labeling reports “fake news" and insisted all was well in the team. Binotto kept quiet.

Word is that with Marchionne gone and ally Camilleri at the helm, Arrivabene is likely to remain team boss, while he made no secret of his intent when he turned down a prestigious job offer to work at football giants Juventus.

Binotto, on the other hand, is the brains behind Ferrari’s resurgence with his SF71H the team’s best effort of the current turbo era, providing Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen with a car that for the first time was a match for Mercedes and even better at times.

This week well connected Gazzetta dello Sport confirmed that the feud is intensifying, “The relationship between Maurizio Arrivabene and Mattia Binotto has reached an all-time low, the two hardly talk to one another."

“An unsustainable situation, which risks collapsing the Ferrari environment before the 2019 World Championship even starts. There are many offers on the table for Binotto, among them could be Mercedes, who make no secret of wanting him at Brackley."

“In coming days choices will have to be made between Arrivabene or the technical director, a dangerous tug of war that only John Elkann can resolve. He is now called upon to face the first big crisis since he was appointed to head Ferrari."

Respected Italian journalist Nestor Morosini summed up, “Arrivabene will be able to reflect in the coming days on the Mattia Binotto problem. The technical director is being strongly courted by Mercedes."

And rumor has it that should Binotto move to Mercedes, Costa will be offered Binotto's position and a return to Ferrari where he made Michael Schumacher great. Mark C. reporting and in part from Grandprix247

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