Ferrari CEO Louis C. Camilleri paid tribute to Maurizio Arrivabene and Kimi Raikkonen at the launch of the team’s 2019 car, but says Mattia Binotto can take the team “to ever greater heights.”
Binotto was promoted from technical director to team principal during the off-season, replacing Arrivabene who had been in place since 2015. Raikkonen — who is Ferrari’s most recent drivers’ champion — also departed for Alfa Romeo after being dropped in favor of Charles Leclerc, and while Camilleri says both made significant impacts on the team he describes the changes as marking the start of a new era.
“The car embodies the state of the art technology, reflects the new regulations for the coming season, and is the fruit of the combined enormous work and talent of everyone in the Scuderia and these are just the cream of the crop of the whole Scuderia,” Camilleri (pictured below) said as the SF90 was unveiled at Maranello.
“This year is an important for we celebrate our 90th anniversary, as the Scuderia Ferrari was born in Modena in 1929. It’s an important milestone, as we continued to be inspired and guided by the vision of our founder Enzo Ferrari.
“We’re all very conscious of the huge responsibility that our glorious history entails and fully understand that as a team we carry the hopes, expectations and pride of an entire nation and millions of fans across the world. It’s a responsibility that we gladly accept, confident in the talents and abilities of the men and women who work tirelessly to meet our ultimate ambition, while remaining respectful of our formidable competitors.
“Last season was our best one in the last 10 years yet we fell short of our objectives — such a setback is never easy to swallow, but we look ahead with strong commitment and determination.
“I wish to take this opportunity to thank and acknowledge the significant contributions of two key individuals who left us at the end of last year: namely Kimi Raikkonen and Maurizio Arrivabene. They will always form part of the Ferrari family, but now we begin a new exciting chapter in our history, led by Mattia Binotto (pictured below, with mic).
“Mattia has been with Ferrari for about a quarter of a century, his stellar career over that period is clear testament to his exceptional abilities and leadership skills. He knows the Scuderia inside out, he’s very much a team player, decisive, talented, and determined to make a huge difference at all levels. I have every confidence he will lead the Scuderia to ever greater heights.”
Binotto himself says he has given little time to reflecting on his new role, instead focusing on preparing for the new season.
“It’s simply looking ahead and I don’t think there is much to think about,” Binotto added. “You just do what you need to do and try to do it at your best.”