Published: Tue, January 08, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Briatore backs Ferrari decision to ditch Arrivabene

Briatore backs Ferrari decision to ditch Arrivabene

Ferrari has confirmed technical chief Mattia Binotto has replaced Maurizio Arrivabene as team principal. Now, according to a media report, he is being replaced by Mattia Binotto, who is currently serving as the team's technical chief.

The team's drivers for the 2019 season are Germany's four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel, runner-up to Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton a year ago, and new arrival Charles Leclerc who has replaced Kimi Raikkonen.

A statement read: "After four years of untiring commitment and dedication, Maurizio Arrivabene is leaving the team. The decision was taken together with the company's top management after lengthy discussions related to Maurizio's long-term personal interests as well as those of the team itself", Ferrari... He joined as test race engineer in 1995 and has since been race engine engineer, race engineer and head of engines before being made chief technical officer in 2016, a role in which he has been credited with returning Ferrari to the front of the grid. He was even linked with a move to Italian football club Juventus.

Binotto, depicted as a tough character with a demanding work ethic, was very much a favourite of former Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne who had earmarked the Swiss engineer for a leading role at the Scuderia before his untimely passing last summer. In contrast, Binotto has played a huge role in Ferrari's engine gains in recent years as well as their recent improvements on the aero side.

Binotto, who has risen through the ranks to technical director and overseen a big step up in engine performance, had reportedly been a target for rival constructors and Ferrari were determined to retain his services.

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In four seasons under Arrivabene, Ferrari won 14 races - 13 by Vettel and one by Raikkonen - and finished second three times in the constuctors' standings.

"This year Ferrari had what it takes to win the championship and did not do it", Briatore explained.

Arrivabene has led Ferrari throughout their most successful period for a decade, but his leadership style was questioned.

The major move just days into the New Year has been taken little over a month before pre-season testing begins and comes in the wake of the team's title defeats to Mercedes last year. This includes the unclear position on team orders at the German and Italian Grand Prix. There has been talk of his exit for more than a year.

Arrivabene's tenure has looked uncertain for some time, with reports as far back as October, 2017 suggesting Binotto could replace the former Philip Morris marketing executive.

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