Ferrari “brain drain” continues with SHOCK resignation

At Ferrari HQ they would present their Formula One team’s predicament as one of ‘transition.’ The loss of team principal Mattia Binotto to the Italian team was never going to be without additional attrition and according to the Italian media today, it is set to continue.

Mattia Binotto joined the Scuderia as a power unit engineer and went on to work with the legendary Michael Schumacher during his and the Ferrari glory years.



Ferrari sacking Binotto led to instability

During his three decades with the team his wealth of experience became second to none and rumour has it, Binotto was responsible for the 2019 Ferrari power unit which came close to unseating the mighty Mercedes before the FIA intervened.

A back door deal was done between the Italian squad and F1’s governing body never to reveal the results of the investigation into alleged ‘illegal elements’ of the power unit – but Ferrari’s challenge for titles came to a swift end following the accommodation during  the final third of the season.

Given Ferrari’s penchant for sacking team principals, it was almost with trepidation that a ‘life longer’ like Binotto should be appointed to succeed the outgoing Maurizio Arrivabene in January 2019.

The iconic F1 team have no appointed no less than four team principals in just the last 9 years with Fred Vasseur the latest to enter the Lion’s den.



Vasseur not allowed to manage Ferrari

Yet it appears Vasseur has been incapable of steadying the ship amid reports that he and Ferrari’s CEO Benedetto Vigna, have had words over his alleged “cosiness” with Toto Wolff.

Further, the Italian media have suggested that Vigna is micro managing elements of the Ferrari F1 engineering base in Maranello, to Vasseur’s displeasure.

Italian reported on Vasseur’s appointment that Vigna was no longer going to allow the Ferrari F1 team principal the absolute freedom afforded to Binotto and his predecessors and that he “wants to take on a more active role alongside Vasseur”.

Just as the new team principal Fred Vasseur was settling in, Ferrari announced further upheaval during this season’s opening weekend in Bahrain.

Schumacher boss says Hamilton “split brat”



Ferrari senior staff ‘had enough’

David Sanchez had decided enough was enough and it was time for him to return to his roots.

Sanchez originally joined the team from McLaren in 2012 as principal aerodynamicist before becoming chief of aero in 2016.

The Frenchman was then promoted to lead the entire aerodynamics department in 2019, before his promotion to chief engineer, head of vehicle concept in 2019.

The departing Sanchez has in effect been in charge of the design and development of the Ferrari F1 cars for the past two seasons but is now heading back to McLaren at the end of his gardening leave.



A new “shock” resignation

As if losing one of his most senior team members is not enough for Vasseur, today the Italian press are reporting another ‘big wig’ is about to leave Maranello.

Ferrari’s Racing Director and one of the most recognisable TV and social media figures, Laurent Miekes, has agreed his exit from 

Ferrari. He will be joining the other Italian based team in Faenza these days racing as Alpha Tauri.

Its believed he will assist the team principal Franz Tost in a wider rearrangement of personnel being arranged to improve the teams poor performance in recent years.

F1 set for unrecognisable changes



Alpha Tauri boss wants to retire

Ironically, Frenchman Mikies was previously engaged in Faenza by the then owner of as it was known, the Mindardi team.

Rumours have circulated this year that the current Faenza team boss, Franz Tost, is considering retirement amidst whispers the team has been up for sale.

The 67 year old team principal stated in March this year, “Before I turn 70, it’s really done. Then I go back to Austria and finally go skiing again.”

“I haven’t skied in three years now because I don’t have the time. What is the best time to ski? February and March.”

But then I am always busy working: we are working on the new car, testing and now with races in Bahrain, Jeddah and Melbourne,” complained Tost.



Alpha Tauri could relocate to England

Further, Helmut Marko suggested the under performing Red Bull owned Alpha Tauri must do better, ‘whatever it takes.

“As mentioned, neither sporting performance nor financial performance meet Red Bull’s standards, so we have to do something to change that,” the Red Bull consultant informed Autosport.

The Alpha tour brand of clothing is not delivering the kind of sponsorship the team had hoped for and so another name change and team sponsor is expected in the near future.

Further, a source close to the team revealed in the German media that a relocation to the UK of the Faenza based squad was even on the cards.

Marko: LeClerc leaving Ferrari “a worry”



Easier to recruit F1 staff in England

One of the options mooted in the German press was a move from Faenza to England, as AlphaTauri’s aero department and wind tunnel already operates out of its Bicester base, but Marko says a full transfer of the Italian part of the team “is an overinterpretation” at this stage.

When questioned, Helmut Marko added fuel to the speculation by responding:

“It’s obvious that we’re playing through various options, including England. AlphaTauri already has over 100 employees in England.”

“It’s a split between Italy and England because it’s much easier to find employees in England.”

“But the idea that the entire team will immediately move over there is also an over interpretation.”



Alpha Tauri fail to deliver

Marko set out the expectations for the team and its drivers for 2023 stating, “anything between sixth and seventh is acceptable [in the constructors’ standings]”.

Alpha Tauri are presently joint last with Williams on 1 point and their position in the constructor’s championship is a reasonable reflection on the apparent capabilities of the car at present.

The arrival of Ferrari top dog Mekies is surely designed to shake up the status quo and inject a new sense of urgency in the multiple grand prix winning team.

READ MORE: Hamilton “unattractive option” for other teams says F1 boss

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