Binotto rehearsed Vettel split phone call three times

Ferrari Formula 1 team principal Mattia Binotto has revealed that he had to mentally rehearse three times his phone call to inform Sebastian Vettel he wasn't being retained.

Binotto rehearsed Vettel split phone call three times

Vettel's current contract runs out at the end of the 2020 season, and it had looked likely at the start of this year that it would be a simple matter of extending it.

However, the reality of Ferrari's competitive struggles after Barcelona testing, allied to it pondering what was best for its long-term future, left team management believing that sticking with Vettel was not the right thing to do.

Binotto informed Vettel of the decision in a private phone call before the F1 campaign got underway, and he has admitted it was not a simple thing to do.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Sky Italia, Binotto said that he had to prepare himself well in advance for a difficult conversation.

"I was at home, and before I called him I repeated mentally three times beforehand what I should tell him and how," explained Binotto.

"The choice about Seb was not easy, because we love him for what he has been, for the way he has behaved and for what he has given to the team over the years.

"But there comes a time when you have to have the clarity to make choices looking to the future. We are close to the start of a new technical cycle in 2022, and there is a team that is being built up in all areas.

"We have the duty and ambition to look to the medium and long term, and it is precisely on this rationale that the strength to make certain choices must be found.

"Did Seb get in the way? No, he did not hang up the phone. He is a very intelligent person, a beautiful person, and he has maintained his character during a season in which there has been no lack of difficulties. He was never negative. Instead, he was proactive and a very respectable person."

Read Also:

Binotto said that he believes the 2021 line-up of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will bring a different vibe to the team, as he reckons the pair have different strengths.

"Charles has the enthusiasm of the fans and also the team from the way he produces lap times in qualifying, with his overtaking and with the way he defends on track. Enzo Ferrari would have loved it.

"Regarding the choice of Carlos, I personally see him as a leader He is a great worker. He hooks up with engineers and asks for more and more. Although he is young, he already has many years of Formula 1 behind him and his path has always been one of learning to get the results.

"The drivers today are really the least of our problems. Charles is growing, and in difficulties he has never been critical. He wants to help contribute and grow the team."

shares
comments
Alonso gets another Renault F1 test outing in Bahrain

Previous article

Alonso gets another Renault F1 test outing in Bahrain

Next article

FIA: Changing penalty points system mid-year "bad governance"

FIA: Changing penalty points system mid-year "bad governance"
Load comments
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021