Sainz and Leclerc eulogise departing Ferrari F1 boss Binotto

ferrari leclerc binotto sainz f1 2022 belgian gp

While the writing has been on the wall for the best part of the past month, Mattia Binotto’s resignation as Ferrari team boss sent shock waves up and down the Formula 1 world.

With Binotto’s demise evident from the moment Red Bull’s Max Verstappen squeezed the Reds out of the title fight earlier this year; it was clear rapid changes needed to be made, as the greatest team in the sport began to accept mediocrity as ok.

The moans from Tifosi got louder, until about a month ago the Italian media, usually notoriously impatient on matters Red, broke the roaring silence as Ferrari threw away the higher ground, in a season where their strategy and pitstops became the laughing stock of the paddock.

Until John Elkann swung the axe, in what has all the signs of “you agree to walk or we push you” style resignation, the Agnelli scion had all but been invisible until of late when he went from doing nothing for too long to, perhaps, jumping the gun and shooting the wrong guy, or at least a guy that needed help in the hottest seat in sport but, surely, not the bullet?

Thus when word leaked that Binotto was on his way out, the denials of such a thing happening from Ferrari were a tad too loud, and this week’s confirmation of the fact is classic, old-school Maranello politics at play. Leak. Deny. Pull Trigger.

Thus no huge surprise that in the wake of the news, both Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc – who owe the seats they have with Ferrari largely to Binotto’s belief in them – sent glowing messages to their departing boss on social media.

Carlos and Charles thank and wish Binotto all the best

leclerc sainz ferrari 2022 binotto needs help

The Spaniard who got his break with Ferrari in 2021 under Binotto’s watch wrote on Twitter: “Grazie Mattia. It’s been a pleasure to work alongside you to push the team and ourselves forward through thick and thin. Thanks for the great memories and moments we shared in and out of a racing track and all the best in your future endeavors.”

Before Abu Dhabi, when Binotto’s demise was still in ‘rumour’ phase, Sainz told reporters: I will always thank Mattia for choosing me and for trusting me. He was the first of a great team to believe in me, Mattia will always be special to me.”

His teammate Leclerc, Maranello’s homegrown driver, was also raised under Binotto’s watch, the Monegasque posting his sentiments on Instagram: “Thank you for everything, Mattia. We spent four very intense years together, full of great satisfaction and also, inevitably, moments that tested us.

“My esteem and respect for you have never diminished, and we have always worked with full dedication to achieve the same goals. Good luck [with] everything,” concluded Leclerc.

Antonio Giovinazzi, who also owes his 62 F1 starts to Binotto’s patience wrote: “There aren’t many really important people in everyone’s life. We are not always aware of them and know how to seize the right moments to say thank you to them. Mattia you have always been a reference, you will be and I will always be grateful to you.”

Statistics show that since the start of the 2019 F1 season, during Binotto’s time at the helm, Ferrari won only seven races, while finishing second in the F1 constructors’ championship in 2019 and 2022.