Häkkinen doubts Leclerc pushed for Binotto exit at Ferrari


Two-time F1 world champion Mika Häkkinen doubts that Charles Leclerc played a significant role in Mattia Binotto's resignation and departure from Ferrari.

Binotto handed in his resignation to Ferrari's top brass which accepted the Italian's termination after a 28-tenure with the Italian manufacturer, with four years spent at the helm of the Scuderia.

Leclerc reacted to Binotto's exit by posting a message on social media in which the Monegasque expressed his gratitude towards his former team boss, insisting that his "esteem and respect" for Binotto had never waned over the years.

This season in which he appeared as an early championship contender, Leclerc found himself on the receiving end of Ferrari's errors more times than he cares to remember.

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But Häkkinen doubts the five-time Grand Prix winner, even frustrated by Ferrari's inability to improve its operations, pushed Binotto out the door as rumors have suggested.

"I don't know about that," Hakkinen told Sky Sports News.

"I always thought when I was racing, it's not a question about whether you like somebody, it's a question of how good they are, how committed they are, how intelligent, how clever they are - that's what matters.

"It doesn't matter whether you like them or not. That doesn't interfere with your success.

"You have to work in a team, you have to respect the people's talent, knowledge, their commitment to the sport, so I doubt it's a true story.

"It's very sad, I think he [Binotto] is a great personality, a great guy."


Ferrari has yet to nominate Binotto's successor, but Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur – who mentored Leclerc during his formative years in the sport – is considered a top candidate for the role of top man at the House of Maranello.

"Formula 1 is a very complicated sport," added Häkkinen. "It requires three, four extremely talented people to run the team, to make a success.

"It's not just one man or one woman who can run the team.

"It requires a number of individuals - different characters, different talents to be able to add and contribute to the team's success."

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