Formula One continues to throw up surprised even to the most long standing of observers. Ferrari team bosses on the whole don’t return to the sport given they’ve managed at the highest level.
Stefano Domenicali, the last successful principal of the Red Team was hired by Audi when leaving Maranello. He was appointed CEO at Lamborghini in 2016 and became CEO of Formula One from the start of the 2021 season.
Horner denies Binotto on his way to Milton Keynes
Christian Horner made a cryptic comment at the launch of the RB19 in New York which raised a few eyebrows.
When asked about the possibility of hiring Mattia Binotto at Red Bull, Horner replied, “I don’t know what role he could play at our team,” adding cowedly, “He will probably have better opportunities in teams lower down the grid.”
Now a well known F1 Italian journalist claims Mattia Binotto has been made an offer to return to a Formula One team “after the gardening period,” is over.
Ex-Ferrari boss has a gagging order
Binotto will have had his remaining contracted period of employment settled handsomely by Maranello, however Ferrari will want him gagged for a while given the over arching technical knowledge he will have.
Speaking to the Pit Talk podcast, Leo Turini claims, “I am absolutely certain that he has had a proposal from Audi to lead the team that will be on the grid in the near future.”
Bizarrely Binotto was replaced at Ferrari by the Sauber boss Frederic Vasseur and Sauber themselves are in the process of selling to Audi.
Ferrari/Sauber swap should transition smoothly
The Italian media suggest Binotto’s gardening leave will be between 6 and 12 months and then he will become a free agent.
McLaren’s team principal Andrea Seidl left Woking to join the Sauber Group is its CEO.
Interestingly Seidl has not replaced the Ferrari bound Vasseur with a new Sauber team principal but instead announced Alessandro Alunni Bravi as official “team representative” for now.
Given the swift transition of Vasseur to Ferrari it is likely Maranello reciprocated the favour and have tied Binotto for just six months gardening leave.
Binotto then could be announced as Suaber/Alfa Romeo team boss before round four of this season which is to be held in Miami.