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Binotto hasn't lost the Ferrari power struggle

Mattia Binotto has to be considered Ferrari's backbone and despite multiple rumours linking him to different options, he has not lost the internal fight with Arrivabene. Here is why.

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Binotto hasn't lost the Ferrari power struggle
Fuente imagen: Scuderia Ferrari

It is no secret that Mattia Binotto is currently one of the most valuable and coveted engineers on the F1 market. A fortnight ago rumours from Italy were picturing Ferrari's engineering pillar being in talks with both Mercedes and Renault, who have recently approached him for a potential switch. Is it over for Binotto at Ferrari after 23 years?

According to autobild.de, Binotto is going to cut ties with the Italian team at the end of the year, implying that Arrivabene has prevailed in the power struggle against the quoted engineer. Both contracts expire at the end of 2018, but Arrivabene is set to have the upper hand in the fight, which was taken to the extent that the two can no longer coexist in the same working environment. The team principal has always held a close relationship with CEO Louis Camilleri since their Philip Morris days, which would suggest what direction the internal balance is taking.

Despite the fact that the team needs Binotto and the engineer himself knows what the team needs, the engineers' market is quickly evolving. Enstone started preparing its 2021 turnaround from the very moment Lotus ceased to formally exist, and has been hiring key assets ever since. Mercedes' own James Allison seems to be in their sights for a clamorous homecoming after a decade, but the Stuttgart-based team is not breaking the hold. To counter an eventual loss at the top of their squad, Mercedes would keep its swords bright by targeting Binotto. However, the issue is far more complex than it seems. Renault is in for multiple options at the moment and appears to be looking around to consider who has to be the man to invest in for its forward-thinking projects. Binotto has been linked to the French manufacturer as well, which would stand for a valid option in case James Allison decides to stay true to his outfit.

As for Ferrari, more changes are due. John Elkann would be introducing a new figure at Ferrari, tasked with dealing with Liberty Media, negotiations and all financial aspects, in order to lift the weight from both Arrivabene and Binotto's shoulders, and split the load into three specialised people. Is Ferrari already preparing Binotto's departure? Or, on the contrary, is it facilitating his position in the team, having realised that he has been filling the gap on multiple fronts lately? Both cases could be plausible, but one thing is for sure. If Binotto's working relationship with Ferrari was drawing to a close, his presence in the Mexican paddock would not have happened.
Being committed with the on-track action and the 2019 project as well, clashes with the latest rumours. As a matter of fact, if he was truly leaving, the team would be already taking the gardening into account. Instead, he was previously linked with the role of team principal, as the Arrivabene-Juventus rumours spawned.

Binotto is fully drenched in Ferrari's long-term project, having build the very foundation the whole squad is standing on. As much as the Renault or the Mercedes option might be appealing, and as much as Ferrari's balance might have become precarious, his place is in Maranello. Having discovered every nook and cranny of the 'building' gives him the right to be called the staple of the racing department, which not even a tight affiliation can take away. With so much to prove and such little time, Ferrari cannot afford losing such a pivotal personality. The managers know it, everyone knows it.

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