In Depth

F1: all change at Ferrari with new boss and driver for 2019

Mattia Binotto takes over as team principal in place of Maurizio Arrivabene

It was already announced in September that Scuderia Ferrari would have a new driver for the 2019 Formula 1 season but last night it was also confirmed that the Italian team has made a major management change.

A disappointing 2018 campaign saw Ferrari finish 84 points behind Mercedes in the F1 constructors’ championship and Sebastian Vettel ended up second behind Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ standings. Vettel finished the 2018 season 84 points behind world champion Hamilton.

Ferrari have now not won the drivers’ title since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007 and are without a constructors’ title since 2008. The lack of championships has prompted big changes at the Maranello-based team.

Binotto in, Arrivabene out

On the driver line-up Charles Leclerc takes Raikkonen’s spot as Vettel’s partner for 2019 and yesterday it was revealed that Mattia Binotto has been named as Ferrari’s new team principal. Binotto replaces Maurizio Arrivabene.

Confirming Binotto’s appointment, a Ferrari statement said: “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 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.”

Mercedes domination

While Mercedes have won the past five drivers’ and constructors’ titles, success has been hard to achieve for Ferrari.

However, despite the disappointment of last year, there is confidence at Ferrari that they can challenge Mercedes for the 2019 F1 titles.  

F1.com’s Lawrence Barretto reports that Binotto will be their fourth team principal in five years and he explains why Ferrari have “rolled the dice” and removed Arrivabene.

Barretto said: “Ferrari know that this season could be their season, providing they make a step forward on what they achieved last year. They had Mercedes under pressure last year. The more times they fail, the harder it will to get back up and fight again.

“With so much at stake then, it is understandable that Ferrari’s senior management moved swiftly, several weeks before the start of the season, to get their house in order and put smiles back on faces.”

Ferrari’s 2019 car launch

With Vettel and Leclerc ready to challenge for the titles, Ferrari’s technical team and engineers are busy preparing for the launch of their 2019 car.

Ferrari will unveil their new model on Friday 15 February at Maranello in Italy before heading to Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya for the first pre-season test from 18-21 February.

The second pre-season test also takes place in Barcelona, from 26 February to 1 March, and then the first grand prix of the 2019 F1 season will be held in Australia on Sunday 17 March.

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