Binotto non-committal on Ferrari future, but feeling 'pretty relaxed'


Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto says he's feeling "pretty relaxed" about his future at the Scuderia, but admits his fate is ultimately not in his hands.

Rumors brought to the fore by Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport this week called into question Binotto's continued presence at the helm of the Scuderia after the team's disappointing performance in the second half of the F1 season.

The newspaper's report claimed that Ferrari was considering Alfa Romeo team boss Fred Vasseur as Binotto's successor.

But on Tuesday, Ferrari issued a statement in which it called the rumors of Binotto's exit as "totally unfounded".

Speaking to the media on Saturday in Abu Dhabi, Binotto revealed that he had spoken to Ferrari chairman John Elkann after the rumors emerged, which led to Ferrari's rebuff of the various reports circulating in the press.

"Obviously when this speculation came out, I had a chat with my chairman, John Elkann," said Binotto.

"We discussed openly what was the best way to move forward. We decided to release a statement was maybe the best way to close any speculation.

"Clearly there is speculation, totally with no foundation."

Binotto added that his focus was on the Italian outfit's race weekend at Yas Marina, not on whatever story was being by the rumor mill.

"It’s about Ferrari, and more importantly, not to be distracted by them," he said.

Binotto, a long-standing member of Ferrari, has been at the helm of the Italian outfit since the start of the 2019 season when he replaced previous team boss Maurizio Arrivabene.

The Swiss-born Italian has worked tirelessly to steer Ferrari back on a winning path, especially after its dismal campaign in 2020, perhaps the worst in its history.

While their were no wins delivered to the team in 2021, the House of Maranello sacrificed a large part of its season to preparing for 2022 and F1's regulation overhaul.

The team hit the ground running last spring and Charles Leclerc remained a genuine contender for the world title until mid-summer, when stagnant performance and strategic missteps weighed on the teams results and allowed Red Bull and Max Verstappen to permanently seize control in both of F1's championships.

Binotto was asked point blank if he was sure that he would be sitting on Ferrari's pitwall at the start of the 2023 season, the Italian was non-committal.

"Obviously it’s not down to me to decide, but I’m pretty relaxed," he said.

"The reason why I’m relaxed is that I’m always having open, frank and constructive discussions with my bosses, with my chairman, not only for the short-term but the medium and the long-term.

"More than that, I think if I look back on the season, yes we had a few up and downs.

"Today we have not the fastest car on-track. But I think we achieved our main objective which was to be back and to be competitive, and that we know the 2022 cars."


Binotto acknowledged that progress needed to be achieved in several of the team's areas, but overall the Scuderia chief defended the Italian outfit's track record.

"The team back at the factory is fully focused on the 2023, trying to improve," he said.

"Furthermore, I think this season has been outstanding in terms of pole positions, qualifying pace.

"Not as good in terms of race pace, so we need to somehow improve furthermore the race pace, because then strategy or whatever is around it will be easier if you have a strong car in the race itself.

"So yes, I’m relaxed, I’m more than that. I’m really focused on what we need to do and concentrate with the team."

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