Maurizio Arrivabene pays price for title failure as Ferrari replace him as boss
Ferrari have removed team boss Maurizio Arrivabene from his role and promoted technical director Mattia Binotto as his replacement.
The news, which was broken by Gazzetta dello Sport and later confirmed by the team, comes after Ferrari failed to win either the Drivers' or the Constructors' title in 2018, despite having a car that many pundits judged to be at least the match of the Mercedes that carried Lewis Hamilton to his fifth world championship.
Tech chief Binotto has delivered an impressive car over the past two seasons but many observers have pointed to a number of strategic and operational issues that hampered Sebastian Vettel's efforts to win a first drivers' title for the Scuderia since Kimi Raikkonen won it in 2007.
Arrivabene was unable to make Ferrari champions again (Pic: Red Bull Content Pool)
The long–serving Binotto was said to be in a power struggle with Arrivabene, who operated a strict policy of not engaging with the media during his four year tenure, and there were reports that before he died late last year, former Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne had planned to oust Arrivabene and replace him with Binotto.
Binotto, who has been with Ferrari since 1995, had reportedly been approached by several other teams, and it is thought new Ferrari president John Elkann and CEO Louis Carey Camilleri have now acted to ensure they keep the man who many say is largely responsible for the Scuderia's resurgence in the last two years.
Mattia Binotto is highly respected in the F1 Paddock (Pic: Red Bull Content Pool)
Ferrari have yet to comment on the reports.
Arrivabene, a former vice-president of Ferrari sponsor Phillip Morris, was appointed in 2014 after the short-lived reign of his predecessor Marco Mattiacci.
This latest management reshuffle comes just two months before the start of the new season, in which Vettel and new driver Charles Leclerc will be fighting for honours in the scarlet cars.
*** UPDATE ***
Ferrari have now confirmed Arrivabene has left the team and Binotto has taken over as team principal. A statement from the team read:
"After four years of untiring commitment and dedication, Maurizio Arrivabene is leaving the team," read Ferrari's statement.
"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 would like to thank Maurizio for his valuable contribution to the team's increasing competitiveness over the past few years, and wish him the best for his future endeavours.
"With immediate effect, Mattia Binotto will take over as Scuderia Ferrari's team principal.
"All technical areas will continue to report directly to Mattia."