Ferrari shoots down 'totally unfounded' rumors of Binotto exit

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According to a report from Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport, Mattia Binotto's days are numbered at Ferrari, with potential successors now being lined up by the manufacturer for 2023.

But the House of Maranello has issued a statement in which it says that the rumor are "without foundation".

As usual when the Scuderia's results fall short of expectations for a prolonged period of time, its organization and the future of its key figures are called into question.

And as usual the rumor mill kicks into gear.

However, while Ferrari has fought this against a massively competitive pair of adversaries – namely Red Bull and Max Verstappen – the Italian outfit owes several of its defeats against the latter to its own missteps and strategy blunders.

The House of Maranello fielded a race-winning car at the start of the season, with Charles Leclerc making the most of his mount's strength in the first three races of the year.


Thereafter, as Red Bull sprung into action after its early reliability issues, Ferrari progressively lost its footing while there was no looking back for the Milton Keynes-based outfit.

Carlos Sainz and Leclerc's wins last summer in Great Britain and in Austria were the team's most recent moments of glory.

Since, strong races have yielded a good run of podiums but more strategy errors have ensued, the latest of which was the team's odd decision last weekend in Brazil to shod Leclerc with a set of intermediates in Q3 when every other driver in the field had mounted softs.

Binotto has already gone on record stating that no changes are forthcoming on Ferrari's pitwall or within its crews to remedy its obvious weakness on the strategy front.

Now, La Gazzetta dello Sport not only claims that Binotto is close to leaving the Scuderia, it alleges that Ferrari's top brass has shortlisted three names as the Italian's successor for 2023.

Ferrari's favored candidates are reportedly McLaren F1 boss Andreas Seidl and Alfa Romeo F1 team principal Fred Vasseur. La Gazzetta also cites Antonella Coletta, the head of Ferrari's efforts in GT Competitions as a third possible nominee.

Last February, McLaren offered a new long-term contract to Seidl that is believed to run until 2025. There is little point therefore in considering the German as a potential prospect for a role at Ferrari, assuming that he would be interested in moving to Italy.

Vasseur's contractual situation with Alfa Romeo F1/Sauber is unclear, but beyond the prestige of helming Ferrari - likely a moot point for the pragmatic Frenchman – it's hard to see what would motivate Vasseur to leave Hinwil at short notice and withdrew from the team's promising Audi future.

Ferrari has shut down the conjecture for now with the following statement:

"In relation to speculation in certain media regarding Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto's position, Ferrari states that these rumours are totally without foundation," said the Italian outfit.

However, the rumor mill will keep on spinning but we'll venture to guess that Binotto will still be sitting tight on Ferrari's pitwall come Bahrain next March.

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