Ferrari deny reports Mattia Binotto is set to be replaced as F1 team principal

Italian team reportedly looking at Frédéric Vasseur as a replacement.
  • Vasseur could make switch from Alfa Romeo in January 2023
  • Binotto has failed to return Ferrari to glory

The Ferrari Formula One team have denied they are looking to replace current team principal Mattia Binotto with Alfa Romeo's Frédéric Vasseur.

A report from Italian sports newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport said that Ferrari president John Elkann initially sounded out Vasseur as a potential replacement for Binotto last summer and that the Frenchman could now switch teams in January 2023. Elkann is also president of Stellantis, the company that owns the Alfa Romeo brand, meaning Vasseur has already developed a relationship with the top management at Maranello. 

Now, Ferrari have moved to deny these rumours, releasing a short statement: 'In relation to speculation in certain media regarding Scuderia Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto’s position, Ferrari states that these rumours are totally without foundation.'

Binotto, a Swiss-born Italian, was appointed team principal at Ferrari in 2019, replacing Maurizio Arrivabene. Under Binotto's watch, Ferrari had struggled to compete at the front of the field until this season, but a mixture of questionable decision making and notable driver errors has seen the team's chance of securing either the drivers' or constructors' title fizzle out.

If Vasseur were to be appointed, this would represent a departure from Ferrari's recent approach to its team principal role. Arrivabene, who started in 2014, has a marketing and sales background, while Binotto studied engineering and worked his way up through the engine department at Ferrari.

In contrast, the Frenchman has a long background in racing. He founded the ASM team in 1996, which brought a Formula Three championship to Lewis Hamilton, before he joined the ART Grand Prix outfit that carried Nico Rosberg and Hamilton to GP2 titles in consecutive seasons.

Vasseur made his initial entrance into Formula One with the Enstone-based Renault team, although he resigned at the end of his first season in 2016 following disagreements with managing director Cyril Abiteboul. He has been team principal at Sauber, now Alfa Romeo, since 2017.

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