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Ferrari axes team boss arrivabene
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