Fer­rari axes team boss ar­riv­abene

Motor Sport News - - News - By Jonathan No­ble Pho­tos: LAT

Mau­r­izio Ar­riv­abene is to be re­placed as team prin­ci­pal of the Fer­rari For­mula 1 team by tech­ni­cal chief Mat­tia Binotto.

Fer­rari has con­tin­u­ally de­nied that it was con­sid­er­ing a ma­jor man­age­ment reshuf­fle af­ter its failed at­tempt to win the world cham­pi­onship in 2018.

But on Mon­day it was re­vealed Fer­rari pres­i­dent John Elkann had de­cided that Binotto is the right man to lead Fer­rari in 2019.

A Fer­rari state­ment read: “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 com­petive­ness over the past few years, and wish him the best for his fu­ture en­deav­ours.”

The move to re­place Ar­riv­abene has come af­ter a sea­son in which man­age­ment er­rors were viewed as one of the key fac­tors for its de­feat to Mercedes in 2018, de­spite hav­ing the quick­est car at sev­eral stages of the year.

The fail­ure to deal with the is­sue of team orders in a clear man­ner like Mercedes did trig­gered un­nec­es­sary flash points be­tween Kimi Raikko­nen and Se­bas­tian Vet­tel at the Ger­man and Ital­ian Grands Prix. There were also a num­ber of strate­gic blun­ders.

There have long been ru­mours that Binotto and Ar­riv­abene had dis­agree­ments about the di­rec­tion and ap­proach of the team.

Be­fore the Christ­mas break, Ar­riv­abene hit out at what he called “fake news” over re­ports that Binotto was so frus­trated with the sit­u­a­tion that he could leave Fer­rari.

“The ru­mours about Mat­tia are a fake news, put around to cre­ate in­sta­bil­ity in the team,” Ar­riv­abene said. “It is an at­tempt to try to cre­ate prob­lems where there are no prob­lems, and I do not want to com­ment on false ru­mours any more.

“Dur­ing this sea­son there have been many at­tempts at desta­bil­i­sa­tion, some­times with sto­ries about the driv­ers, oth­ers about the tech­ni­cians.

“My po­si­tion? Ask [Fer­rari] man­ag­ing di­rec­tor [Louis] Camil­leri.”

Fer­rari stal­wart Binotto has been tech­ni­cal chief since 2016, when he stepped up to the role fol­low­ing the team’s split with James Al­li­son.he first joined in 1995, as a test en­gine en­gi­neer. Ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Franco Nugnes

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