The Rise and Rise of Binotto at Ferrari

Mattia Binotto’s elevation to Ferrari team principal is a journey that began, at Maranello, 24 years ago when he joined the sport’s most famous team as a Test Engine Engineer and, in retrospect, he has been groomed (if not ordained) to lead the team.

Binotto is described by insiders as a tough and very demanding character at work, which apparently brings out the best from everyone under his command.

He was born and raised in Switzerland where he completed an engineering degree at university before embarking to Italy where completed his masters before joining Ferrari.

Fast forward a couple of decades, once it became apparent last year that Binotto would not countenance working under Arrivabene in 2019, things had to change in the management pecking order. It was a clear case of: Me or Him?

Largely ignored by most media outlets, perhaps frightened to report proper Ferrari news lest they be denied espresso freebies in the paddock, the Arrivabene vs Binotto feud has been going on for some months with matters coming to a head after Suzuka when the former Marlboro executive took a swipe at his technical team led by the new team chief.

Tensions, dubbed fake news by Arrivabene, were real and ongoing, after the final race of the season John Elkann, the late Sergio Marchionne’s replacement as President of the Italian marque, had to act. After trying to broker a truce between the pair, which failed, Binotto got the nod.

Again no surprise, arrogant and distant Arrivabene has sown divisions within the team, trying to marginalise Binotto in the aftermath of Marchionne’s death backfired as Mercedes supposedly had the talented engineer in their sights, while internally he marginalised many staff who believe in and sided with their technical director.

Furthermore, their media department – under Arrivabene’s command – is a disaster and has few friends among Italian scribes. A cultural revolution has to happen in there, hearts and minds have to be won back in the aftermath of an era of negligence.

Ironically Binotto’s promotion to Scuderia chief is exactly what Marchionne was angling for as part of his grand vision for the team before he passed away unexpectedly in July last year, which also included promoting young Charles Leclerc.

Binotto is a Ferrari man through and through, having joined the great team in 1995 at the age of 25. During the next 24 years, he progressed through the ranks at Maranello to the role of technical chief and now team principal.

Binotto’s CV on the Ferrari website reads: “Mattia Binotto was born on 3 November 1969 in Lausanne, Switzerland.”

“Having graduated in Mechanical Engineering from the Lausanne Polytechnic in 1994, he then obtained a Masters in Motor Vehicle Engineering in Modena.”

“In 1995, he joined the Scuderia Ferrari test team as a Test Engine Engineer and fulfilled the same role with the race team from 1997 to 2003.”

“In 2004, he became a race engine engineer and from 2007 Binotto took on the role of Chief Engineer, race and assembly, moving on in 2009 to Head of Engine and KERS Operations.”

“Having been appointed Deputy Director, Engine and Electronics in October 2013, Binotto subsequently took on the role of Chief Operating Officer, Power Unit.”

“On July 27, 2016, he [was] appointed Chief Technical Officer of Scuderia Ferrari.

“From January 7, 2019 he is appointed as Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal.”

Arrivabene: The rumours about Mattia are fake news