Wolff: 'Too much porcelain broken' for Binotto to join Mercedes

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Toto Wolff has ruled out the possibility of Mercedes recruiting former Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto in the future, insisting there is "too much broken porcelain" between the two men.

Binotto, who had been at the helm of the Scuderia for the past four years, handed in his resignation to Ferrari chairman John Elkann last week.

During his tenure, the Italian engineer had overseen Ferrari's turnaround and its return this year to the status of title contender in F1.

As the figureheads of the two biggest F1 teams on the grid, Binotto and Wolff often found themselves on opposing sides of a multitude of issues since 2019.

Speaking on the latest Beyond the Grid podcast, Wolff admitted that, as the figureheads of the the two biggest teams in F1, Binotto and himself "had our moments" in the past few years, although he also acknowledged that they had found themselves "in a much better place" this season.

Nevertheless, Wolff wasn't all that surprised to learn last week of his Ferrari counterpart's ousting.

"We were in a much better place, but it was always clear that he was under tremendous pressure," added Wolff. "Being a team principal at Ferrari, you better have a good contract for your exit.

"Now, probably the unavoidable happened, but he held onto it longer than I thought."

In the recent past, Wolff - a 33% shareholder in the Mercedes F1 team - has made no secret of his will to delegate part of his responsibilities to allow him to spend more time away from the race track.

Asked if Binotto's vast experience and expertise could ever be of interest to Mercedes, Wolff dismissed the eventuality and explained why.

"No, I think there was too much porcelain broken between us the last two years that this would be possible," said Wolff.

“With the other teams, I can’t say. But certainly Mattia understands Formula 1 inside out, and yeah, maybe he finds a role in another team."


Ferrari is currently actively seeking a successor to Binotto, with Alfa Romeo team principal Fred Vasseur rumored to be top of the Italian outfit's list.

Wolff acknowledged that it was "very difficult to judge" who would be taking charge of the Scuderia from next season, a "niche job" that can only be handled by a specialist endowed with all the right qualities, according to the Austrian.

"You need to understand motor racing, maybe more than just Formula 1," Wolff said.

"But it’s such a niche where the sport, the regulations, the governing body, the commercial rights holder, the competitors, all of us are basically locked in this paddock cage.

"You need to be politically astute.

"It’s a very niche, specialist environment. The more you know about the sport, the better it is. But you don’t want to be a one-trick pony either.

"You can be a good racing manager, and not understand about anything that's going on commercially or outside in the world."

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