Mattia Binotto has resigned as the boss of Ferrari’s Formula One team after its disappointing season.
Ferrari came into 2022 as strong favourites for the championship and won two of the opening three races, but their challenge soon faded.
Binotto’s team won just three more times as Max Verstappen and Red Bull walked away with the championship.
The season unravelled through a series of strategic blunders and reliability issues which raised questions about whether the team needed a shake-up of its management team.
Binotto will officially leave his role on Dec. 31. Ferrari hopes to confirm a replacement in the new year.
Ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Ferrari shut down rumours it was set to replace Binotto with Alfa Romeo boss Fred Vasseur, who remains a strong candidate to fill the vacant role.
Binotto joined Ferrari in 1995 and slowly worked his way through the team’s ranks before being named team boss in 2019.
“With the regret that this entails, I have decided to conclude my collaboration with Ferrari,” Binotto said in a statement on Tuesday.
“I am leaving a company that I love, which I have been part of for 28 years, with the serenity that comes from the conviction that I have made every effort to achieve the objectives set.
“I leave a united and growing team. A strong team, ready, I’m sure, to achieve the highest goals, to which I wish all the best for the future. I think it is right to take this step at this time as hard as this decision has been for me.
“I would like to thank all the people at the Gestione Sportiva who have shared this journey with me, made up of difficulties but also of great satisfaction.”
Binotto presided over Ferrari’s infamous 2019 campaign, which the team contested with an engine later deemed to have been illegal by the FIA.
That led to a private settlement between the governing body and Ferrari. Although it remains unknown what the settlement entailed, Ferrari suffered a dramatic drop in form over the next two seasons.
It’s failure to compete for the title in 2022 was a clear source of irritation to superstar driver Charles Leclerc, who regularly voiced concerns with Ferrari’s strategy during races in the latter part of the season.
Were Ferrari to appoint Vasseur it could be seen as a way to appease Leclerc’s bubbling frustrations — Vasseur oversaw Leclerc’s rookie season at Alfa Romeo in 2018 and is a well respected figure in the paddock.
Vasseur worked with Ferrari’s star driver Charles Leclerc when he was a rookie in 2018.
Leclerc grew increasingly frustrated with Ferrari this season and was often heard questioning the team’s strategy during races.
Mattia Binotto resigns as Ferrari team principal