Ferrari is poised to replace team principal Maurizio Arrivabene with current technical director Mattia Binotto ahead of the 2019 Formula 1 season.
Binotto was promoted to chief technical officer at Ferrari in the summer of 2016, and delivered cars capable of challenging for the world championship in each of the following two seasons. Both challenges faded in the second part of each year, and it is understood the relationship between Arrivabene (pictured at right, above) and Binotto (at left) was becoming increasingly strained.
With Binotto attracting the attention of rival teams, Italy’s La Gazetta dello Sport reports Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) chairman John Elkann has decided against renewing Arrivabene’s contract and instead promote Binotto to the role of team principal in order to keep him at Maranello.
La Gazetta claims an announcement could come as early as Monday afternoon, but Ferrari declined to comment on the report at this stage when contacted by RACER.
Binotto had been earmarked as a future team principal by former FCA chairman and Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne, whose sudden death in July of last year threw a number of plans at the Scuderia — including the replacement of Kimi Raikkonen with Charles Leclerc — into doubt.
Those wishes were honored when Leclerc’s promotion was announced in September, and it now appears the same has happened regarding the leadership of the team.
Arrivabene had been team principal since January 2015, overseeing back-to-back runner-up finishes in the constructors’ championship.
Ferrari is due to launch its 2019 car on February 15.