As we have repeatedly reported dissent at Maranello has reached the point of revolution 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 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.”
Tensions between Binotto and Arrivabene were palpable for most of the latter half of last year. After Sergio Marchionne’s unexpected passing, much was left in limbo but the consensus is that the former Ferrari president was moving to promote Binotto at the expense of Arrivabene.
A team spokesman contacted by Reuters said he was not aware of anything imminent.
Arrivabene’s tenure has looked uncertain for some time, with reports as far back as October 2017 suggesting Binotto could replace the former Philip Morris marketing executive.
Strategic blunders by the team last year only increased the pressure.
The death in July last year of chairman Sergio Marchionne triggered a change at the top, with Louis Camilleri taking over as chief executive and John Elkann, a scion of Italy’s Agnelli family, as chairman.
Meanwhile reports in Italy claim that Arrivabene’s ousting had been confirmed by senior sources within the team and said Elkann had decided Binotto was the right man to lead the team forward.
The Ferrari veteran, who has risen through the ranks to technical director and overseen a big step up in engine performance, has also reportedly been a target for rival constructors.
Ferrari’s drivers for the 2019 season are four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel, runner-up to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton last year, and Monaco’s Charles Leclerc who has replaced Kimi Raikkonen, world champion in 2007, who remains the most recent title winner for the sport’s oldest team.
Interesting days lie ahead as Ferrari gear up for next season, the internal disarray not helping their cause as they prepare for the battle to overcome the might of Mercedes in the forthcoming season.
This report has evolved Binotto os now team chief as we report here: