Rumours have suggested that Charles Leclerc and Mattia Binotto have not been getting along at Scuderia Ferrari for some months now, and since Binotto left Ferrari, there have been many more rumours about the reasons for his departure, including tensions between the Swiss-Italian team boss and Charles Leclerc. But for Mika Häkkinen, these tensions cannot be the reasons for Binotto’s departure claims the former Formula 1 champion and TV pundit.
This week Ferrari announced that it had accepted the resignation of its director Mattia Binotto, who will leave the Italian team on December 31st after four years as head of sports management at Maranello.
Indeed, despite a very promising start to the season, the Italian team quickly found itself in difficulty due to several strategic errors, which is said to have caused a rift between the two men. Indeed, long before the official announcement, rumours suggested that Charles Leclerc was partly responsible for Binotto’s departure, particularly because the two men had hardly spoken to each other since the 2022 British Grand Prix.
Two-time F1 world champion Mika Hakkinen has questioned rumours that Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc is partly responsible for the sacking of Scuderia Ferrari director Mattia Binotto.
Charles Leclerc saw his first world championship title slip away over the weekends, notably because of the numerous strategic errors made by Ferrari, which would have created tensions between the Monegasque driver and Mattia Binotto. Since the latter left his post at the Italian team, there have been many rumours about the reasons for his departure. Mika Häkkinen, double world champion in 1998 and 1999, has spoken out on the subject.
Mika Häkkinen claims rumours surrounding Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari were not the only ones. According to him, the various tensions between the Swiss and Charles Leclerc cannot justify this exit.
“I don’t know anything about it. When I was racing in Formula 1, I always thought that it wasn’t a question of whether you liked a person or not, but how competent, involved and intelligent they were. That was all that mattered.”
“I have my doubts that this is the real story”
In particular, Mika Häkkinen points out that a driver’s success has nothing to do with the relationship with his team.
“It doesn’t matter if you like this person or not. It has nothing to do with your success. You have to work as a team, respect people’s talent, their knowledge and their involvement in the sport. So I doubt that this is the real story.”
“I think Binotto has a great personality.
Mika Häkkinen continued: “It’s very sad anyway, I think Binotto has a great personality…”
“Formula One is a very complicated sport, you need three to four extremely talented people to run a team, to be successful. It’s not just one man or woman who can lead the team, you need several individuals, different personalities and talents to contribute to the team’s success.”