Ferrari to sack Binotto (3rd Update)
|The engine cheating scandal alone should have gotten Binotto fired. Add to that how embarrassingly slow his cars are|
UPDATE (GMM) Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto says he thinks he will keep his job.
The Italian finally admitted in Hungary that the engine legality saga of 2019 has resulted in a less powerful power unit for this year.
It comes amid speculation Binotto might go the way of Stefano Domenicali, Marco Mattiacci and Maurizio Arrivabene by losing the top job in red.
When asked by French broadcaster Canal Plus if he feels in danger of that happening, Binotto said in Hungary: "No, I don't necessarily feel in danger.
"I think it's normal that I - just like everyone else - have to do my job and I'm judged on the results, there's no doubt about it.
"But on that side, I have the support of Ferrari, the support of my bosses," Binotto added.
"I believe that stability is important, we know that our program is a program over several years, so we are still trying to build and I believe we should not react negatively to the first negative results.
"For my part, I am calm, even if I am disappointed with the situation," he said.
However, Binotto does not rule out that Ferrari will make changes of some kind.
"Stability is important for us. But we need to understand what is not working and make things better," he told Sky Italia.
"As a team it is not excluded that something can be addressed, on a technical or an organisation level, to improve things.
"This is a young team, made up of many talents and good people in whom I have full confidence. There is no one questioning - we will only try to do better in the future."
|Laurent Mekies (L) and Mattia Binotto (R) will likely get the Ferrari axe at the end of 2020|
07/15/20 (GMM) Mattia Binotto's successor as Ferrari team boss may already have been found.
Formula 1's media contingent agrees that the Maranello team is in deep crisis after just two races of the 2020 season.
"There was a long briefing in Maranello this week to find out what is being done with the car for Hungary," reported Corriere della Sera.
It is believed more new aerodynamic parts will be added to the car this weekend, but Binotto's bosses John Elkann and Louis Camilleri are reportedly prepared to take "drastic action" if Ferrari does not make quick progress.
"The men even have a plan for a successor: Antonello Coletta," the newspaper claims.
Coletta currently heads Ferrari's sporting activities department, including the 'F1 Clienti' program and GT racing.
A drastic change like that has the backing of many in the Italian media, with La Gazzetta dello Sport insisting: "When the ingredients are good, it must be that the chefs cannot cook."
According to a reporter for German television RTL, however, Binotto could keep the job for the rest of the season at least. Journalist Felix Gorner said he thinks the 50-year-old Italian will remain boss "at least until the winter".
Former Renault boss Flavio Briatore doubts even signing up Lewis Hamilton would help Ferrari.
"Ferrari hasn't won for years," he is quoted by Tuttosport. "They have an aerodynamic problem and now it seems also with the engine.
"Nothing would change with Hamilton behind the wheel as a driver makes a difference of 1-2 tenths, not seconds.
"If I was Binotto, I would give up on this year but also next year and think about the 2022 machine for the new regulations. And I would not hesitate for a second," Briatore said.
|Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri|
07/07/20 (GMM) Ferrari's CEO has expressed "confidence" in team boss Mattia Binotto after an uncompetitive start to the 2020 season in Austria.
The Maranello team is currently fast-tracking its scheduled Hungary update so that "at least some" of the parts can debut on the troubled 2020 car this weekend.
But given that the new car is substantially slower than its 2019 predecessor on the very same circuit, questions are now being asked about Binotto's leadership.
"There would be a lot to be said about putting someone new at the top," said former F1 driver Nick Heidfeld.
Ralf Schumacher added: "In football, we would be talking about a change of coach at this point."
However, Ferrari CEO Louis Camilleri is supporting Binotto for now.
"We are at the start of a new cycle with a long term plan," he said. "Any setbacks will certainly not change our chosen course and I have every confidence in Mattia and the team in addressing our shortcomings.
"It's clear that we have to improve on all fronts. The only solution is to react and I'm pleased by the immediate reaction and the work that Mattia and all his team are putting in at every level," Camilleri added.
|Mattia Binotto's job is now at risk. It was under Binotto that Ferrari got caught with an illegal engine and the team has gotten worse every year|
07/05/20 (GMM) Mattia Binotto's job may be on the line after Ferrari got its 2020 campaign off to a miserable start in Austria.
Sebastian Vettel failed even to make it out of Q2 at the Red Bull Ring, but engine customers Haas and Alfa Romeo also struggled badly.
Indeed, compared to 2019 at the same circuit, Haas' pace has dropped by six tenths, Ferrari's by almost a second, and Alfa Romeo's by 1.1 seconds.
The implication is that the engine legality scandal of 2019, leading onto Ferrari's controversially secret agreement with the FIA, has resulted in a huge performance drop for the Maranello-made power unit.
"It's hard to say why, but both we and Ferrari had major problems today," said Haas driver Kevin Magnussen.
When asked if it might be connected with the engine cheating accusations, the Dane told BT newspaper: "People can think what they want, but it's not something I'm thinking about."
His teammate Romain Grosjean responded simply: "Ask Ferrari."
Having led the cheating queries last year, Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko could not resist a swipe, insisting: "It's amazing what Ferrari's engine was doing last year."
Ferrari had warned that it may struggle this weekend, but those wearing red on Saturday appeared stunned at the obvious extent of the problem.
|Laurent Mekies could also get the axe|
"Our deficit is difficult to understand," admitted sporting boss Laurent Mekies.
With that being the case, the questions about Binotto's leadership have already begun.
"There would be a lot to be said about putting someone new at the top," former F1 driver Nick Heidfeld told Sky Deutschland. "It hasn't gone smoothly for years now."
Ralf Schumacher agrees: "In football, we would be talking about a change of coach at this point.
"All the internal fighting, the engine issue, and now teams like McLaren and Racing Point in front of them."
He thinks the problem could be that Binotto is overwhelmed with his combined managerial and technical roles.
"That workload cannot be done by one person. It must be a group of people," said Schumacher.
"In Michael (Schumacher)'s time, there were three leading people, and I would say there are five now at Mercedes."
Another former F1 driver, JJ Lehto, told Iltalehti newspaper: "The politics will begin now, and then there will be changes in the management very quickly."