Italian businessman Flavio Briatore admitted that a change was necessary at Scuderia Ferrari after the Maranello team’s failed title fights with Mercedes in recent years, amid reports that team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has been removed from his role and replaced by former chief technical officer Mattia Binotto. La Gazzetta dello Sport first reported that Maurizio Arrivabene’s contract had not been renewed by new Ferrari president John Elkann – with further claims suggesting the move was the wish of former chief Sergio Marchionne before his passing last summer.
Mattia Binotto previously headed up Ferrari’s power nit development before becoming technical boss in 2016 and the Scuderia’s gains in horsepower last year were estimated to have put them ahead of Mercedes for the first time in the V6 Hybrid era. However, a string of errors on the track and pitwall left Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel counting the cost as Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton once again celebrated title glory come the end of the year.
Having fallen short two years in succession, Flavio Briatore says a change could be of benefit to a side he went to battle with often in his career when leading Benetton and Renault. Briatore told Adnkronos: “This year Ferrari had what it takes to win the championship and did not do it.
“When you do not win, things have to change and I imagine that those who drive the Scuderia di Maranello have thought in this way. Binotto did an excellent job as technical director, last year Ferrari had a very good car, very fast and with a different management of the drivers could bring the world championship home. We will see what work he will do as a team principal, certainly I do not think he will have the dual role of team principal and technical director.” – the ex-Formula 1 team principal said.