Many names linked with ousted Binotto’s top job

Ross Brawn put a swift halt to rumours his next move could be to replace Ferrari’s soon-to-be-ousted team boss Mattia Binotto.

Although the initial rumours of Binotto’s demise were denied by the Maranello team, they are back with a vengeance this week in authoritative Italian specialist publications.

“After Abu Dhabi, there were no talks between Binotto and top management, reaffirming his isolation,” writes Luigi Perna in the highly respected La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“The terms and extent of Binotto’s severance, as he had a contract that expired at the end of 2023, are yet to be defined.”

It is believed the favourite to replace Binotto is Frederic Vasseur, currently the boss at Alfa Romeo but with strong ties to Charles Leclerc’s manager Nicholas Todt.

Reports indicate that McLaren’s Andreas Seidl and even Christian Horner, the ultra-successful Red Bull team principal, were approached but turned down the role.

Stefano Mancini, a journalist for La Stampa newspaper, says Vasseur “remains a candidate” although Benedetto Vigna – Ferrari CEO – could be installed as an interim team boss.

So too is Binotto’s 2022 deputy Laurent Mekies.

Yet another rumour is that Ferrari chairman John Elkann is yet to accept Binotto’s letter of resignation while he searches for the ideal successor.

One Italian source said Binotto is already linked with at least four job offers elsewhere in pitlane, including Alpine and Aston Martin.

La Stampa’s Mancini, meanwhile, thinks Ferrari may have approached the newly-retired former F1 managing director Ross Brawn – Maranello’s ultra-successful past technical boss.

In his parting message on Formula 1’s official website, 68-year-old Brawn denied suggestions he might return to team management.

“I’d moved away from wanting to be part of a team – I decided I’d done enough of that,” the Briton, who won the 2009 constructors’ world championship as owner of his own team, said.

“This was the only thing that could have possibly appealed. Now is the right time for me to retire,” Brawn added.

No matter what happens next at Ferrari, it is clear the team is anxious about making changes in order to make better use of its next competitive opportunity.

“We’ve made some improvements and this pleases me,” said Ferrari CEO Vigna. “But second is the first of the losers and I’m not happy with how the world championship ended.

“But I also think the team has what it takes in order to be able to improve over time.”

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