Ferrari in 2019: will the changes help to solve the eternal problems of the Italian team?
What is the "red revolution" for Ferrari - a new problem or a chance to solve the old ones?
Scuderia Ferrari has begun New Year with big changes within the team. Maurizio Arrivabene left the role of Ferrari's team principal after four years, and he was replaced by the technical director of the Scuderia Mattia Binotto. This event caused a huge resonance in Formula 1 circus. The opinion of fans and experts as usually divided into two groups: someone believes that Ferrari made the right decision, saying goodbye to Arrivabene; other doubt that the new principal will be able to cope with a large number of responsibilities and won’t be able to rally the team.
However, the change of leadership in the team isn’t the main problem for Ferrari. On the contrary, most likely these changes will only benefit the team. Scuderia has deeper and more serious problems that have been going on for years. And now it’s Binotto turn to resolve and eliminate them.
The only leader
The opposition between Vettel and Leclerc will be one of the most exciting things next season. Leclerc is already the upcoming superstar of Ferrari. Exceptionally talented driver, a favorite of the deceased Sergio Marchionne. And the team has already made individual changes for its debutant: the former senior performance engineer of Ferrari Jock Clear will work with Leclerc and pay special attention to supporting the young driver.
But despite the obvious favor to Charles, the team still sees Vettel as their number one, and thorough preparation for the coming of Leclerc can be explained by the fact that Ferrari just care about his comfortable adaptation to a new team.
Referring to the latest rumors, it seems that Seb was long aware of the upcoming changes in the team, and took control of the situation. Maurizio didn’t like it in Sebastian, preferring the drivers work on the track, and the management of the team was left to people who know this business better, which once again confirms that Vettel lacked emotional support from his boss. But now the situation looks different and clearly developing in favor of German. According to Autobild, after the summer, Sebastian had some private dinner with Mattia Binotto. Therefore, it’s not difficult to conclude that the relationship between Vettel and Binotto is much more trusty than between Vettel and Arrivabene.
So who is going to be the number one in Scuderia Ferrari? Among the many rumors and opinions it’s difficult to give a definite answer. On the one hand, everything points to the fact that Ferrari intends to continue its winning story with Sebastian and to crown it with the title. On the other hand, some people still believe that after Vettel's mistakes last season, the team doesn’t see him as their champion and is ready to take risks, putting everything on Leclerc.
But in any case, the team led by Binotto must choose a leader and focus all work on him. This is the main condition for Ferrari for the next season, if they want to win the title, both for the team and for its driver. Because if Ferrari continues to do the same thing they did in Monza in 2018, changing the focus from one driver to another, then they will finally lose all chances of winning the championship. Their main rivals succeeded in this matter: Mercedes has determined its leader. Sometimes they act too tough, using team orders, but thanks to this “cold-blooded” style they have been invincible for the last five years.
The politics inside the team
The atmosphere in Ferrari has been hostile and tense in recent years. The reason for this was the war between Binotto and Arrivabene, which literally split one team into two opposing camps.
With the appointment of Binotto on a role at the head of the team, Ferrari also retains him as a technical director, so now he has both technical and management departments in his pocket and actually coordinate the whole team. And for Ferrari it is definitely a huge advantage. Firstly, the team will become holistic, and secondly, Scuderia is going into a season without war between the technical director and the team principal. But another question, how Binotto will be able to handle it in reality, but not on paper.
Binotto is more down to earth and more empathic than Arrivabene, which somebody directly named as a despot. That's why Mattia can bring a calm atmosphere to the team, lowering extra Italian emotionality, and most importantly to create support for the whole team.
Ferrari begins new season with fundamental changes. Answering the question of “good it or bad for Scuderia”, we can say that, most likely, these changes will benefit Ferrari. However, the main meaning of this situation is another: Italians again got a big chance to establish the work of the team and to eliminate the problems that they face from year to year.
Now this task has got a new person, and wants to believe, the right person. Binotto has great experience with working in Ferrari, knows its “pitfalls”, but will he be able to change the course and finally lead his team to the championship?