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Ferrari’s Binotto F1 split looks "strange", says Brundle

Ferrari’s parting of ways with team boss Mattia Binotto appears "strange" if no top-level figure has been lined up to replace him, reckons Sky Formula 1 pundit Martin Brundle.

Mattia Binotto, Team Principal, Ferrari, during an interview

The Italian F1 squad announced earlier this week that it had accepted Binotto’s offer to resign from his role as team principal after just less than four years in the job.

Binotto’s decision came off the back of a rollercoaster season for Ferrari, where the highs of early season race victories were clouded by later frustrations over poor reliability, strategy errors and driver mistakes.

In the end, Binotto made his decision after feeling he did not have the total trust of Ferrari chairman John Elkann and CEO Benedetto Vigna.

Ferrari has said it hopes to install a new team boss in the New Year, but there is already a widespread belief that the squad has heavily compromised its chances for 2023 by losing Binotto’s talent and experience on both the technical and management front.

Speaking in London at the Guild of Motoring Writers’ Annual Awards dinner on Thursday night, Brundle conceded that Ferrari was always in a unique position as a team because of its following in Italy.

“You're working for a country there at Ferrari, not just a team, of course,” said Brundle, who was made an honorary member of the Guild.

“They've lost their chief technical officer and their team principal, so unless they have got somebody very, very good to replace him straightaway, it all looks a little bit strange. But that's the nature of it.”

Philip Schofield and Martin Brundle

Philip Schofield and Martin Brundle

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Brundle joked that he ‘quite fancied the job himself’, before more seriously suggesting that perhaps the squad needed to look for someone who would not be as heavily under the spotlight of the Italian media as Binotto was.

“You've got to speak Italian,” he said. “And I think the problem is, if you look back at when they were last successful, they had a Frenchman in Jean Todt, a Brit in Ross Brawn, a South African with Rory Byrne and so on.

“Maybe that's what they need again, something like that: people who are not completely exposed to the daily Italian media.”

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