Last year, Ferrari’s internal problems escalated when Charles Leclerc fell out with then-team principal Mattia Binotto.
With Ferrari failing to win the championship and tensions rising with the Monegasque, Binotto was fired and Leclerc reunited with Fred Vasseur, with whom he worked at Sauber in 2018. Recently, Leclerc sat down for an interview (reported by Formula Passion) and at the same time. We talked about Vasseur and his impact on the team, it seemed to call for a subtle jab at Binotto. In 2018, Vasseur and Leclerc worked together at Sauber and share the same dynamic as they do now. Having become good friends over the years, teaming up with Vasseur was a convenient choice for Leclerc, who felt lost after what happened between him and Bintoto. Despite the fact that the Frenchman has not changed much in Leclerc’s life, the Monaco pilot feels more at home and praises his team leader.
Charles Leclerc makes a veiled excavation in Binotto Few would have forgotten the famous image of Binotto pointing his finger in Leclerc’s face when the Monegasque confronted the Reggio engineer after the 2022 British GP. Still suffering the pain of what happened today, Leclerc found time to praise his new team boss in which was also a thinly veiled jab at his former boss. As quoted by Formula Passion, the Ferrari driver said he needed someone to scold him when he was wrong and praise him when he was right – which Vasseur often does – which is not easy to find at Ferrari.
He’s able to motivate and reassure you when you need it, and he’s always been very honest with me. It seems very simple, but when you come to Formula 1 and you’re a Ferrari driver, a lot of people are so honest and it’s hard to find them. In 2023, for the first time since 1994, Bintoto did not have to prepare for the next competition season. Although he may not be in Ferrari’s backyard, the 53-year-old is still a member of the team and is on “garden leave”. Leave is a special clause in the contract, which means that the employee is still involved. a team member but not a labor member. This also prevents them from working elsewhere.
However, things could soon change for the former Ferrari team boss. Binotto to lead a new team in 2024? At the British GP in 2023, exactly a year after his incident with Leclerc, Binotto made an unexpected appearance in the paddock. While he was not near his team’s garage, Binotto was seen chatting with a Pirelli official near the tire supplier’s office. Shortly after, news broke that Audi offered Binotto the role of team manager for the 2026 season. Binotto even met Audi executives and got to know their base.
The ex-Ferrari man, unimpressed by what he saw, turned down the offer from the German car manufacturers. Alpine hopes to make its team “Ferrari-like” and is now the front-runner to sign Binotto as team principal. The Frenchman brings decades of experience to the table, but he also has extensive knowledge of how Ferrari engines work as Alpine looks to turn its fortunes around.