Five months after his dismissal, Haas F1 boss Gunther Steiner believes Mattia Binotto will return to Formula 1 soon, confirming statements made by others who have claimed that the former Ferrari man will be back in the paddock.
Haas team boss Gunther Steiner believes that Mattia Binotto will soon be back in Formula 1. The Italian was last active for Ferrari as team boss for four years.
‘Gardening leave’ for Audi bound Binotto
Binotto will have received a handsome pay-off from Maranello for the remainder of his contract, but Ferrari will want to keep him under wraps for a while, given his outsize technical knowledge.
Curiously, Binotto has been replaced by Sauber’s Frederic Vasseur, and Sauber themselves are being sold to Audi.
Speaking to the Pit Talk podcast, Italian journalist 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.”
The Italian media suggest that Binotto’s gardening leave will last between 6 and 12 months, after which he will become a free agent.
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With McLaren’s team principal Andrea Seidl who left Woking to become CEO of Sauber, it is interesting to note that Seidl has chosen to appoint Alessandro Bravi as the team’s official “team representative” for the time being, rather than replacing Vasseur, who has left for Ferrari.
With Vasseur’s move to Ferrari so swift, Maranello must have repaid Binotto’s favour by giving him a six-month gardening holiday.
Binotto could then be announced as Sauber/Alfa Romeo team boss before the fourth round of the season in Miami.
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Steiner confirms Binotto F1 desire
“I don’t know what Mattia Binotto is currently working on.” claims the Italian Haas boss, a good friend of Binotto who refuses to give much away about the former Ferrari boss’s plans.
“However, I am sure that if the opportunity arises, he will come back to Formula 1. Don’t ask me where, when and why, though. But in general I do think he will come back,” Günther Steiner told the Mirror when asked if the Italian would make another appearance in Formula One.
“He worked for Ferrari for a very long time, I think 28 years. It was his first job in Formula One and he’s never been anywhere else. Of course it’s hard when you have to leave like that. But I think he is over it and is focused on his future,” Steiner continued.
Good Ferrari results in F1 fail to materialise
The Haas team boss also underlined this with another statement: “He is doing well, everything is fine. I think he is in a good place,” he revealed referring to the 53-year-old’s well-being.
Steiner and Binotto are considered good friends. Among other things, their friendship is illustrated in a Netflix documentary.
Meanwhile, Frederic Vasseur took over as Ferrari team manager. The change from Binotto to Vasseur, however, seems to have had only a limited positive effect on the Scuderia’s results.
Currently, Ferrari drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc are in fifth and sixth place in the drivers’ standings after four races. Only Leclerc’s third place at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix should give hope.
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The man has the weight of a feather in any discussion, asking his driver’s what they think they should do during a race, no authority what so ever.