Charles Leclerc revealed that Mattia Binotto called him to inform him that he would be stepping down shortly before it was made public.
The Ferrari boss announced he would be leaving the team at the end of the season after their best campaign since 2019, but one that was fraught with disappointment.
Repeated mistakes led to high tensions within the team and at one point Binotto was visually seen undressing Leclerc after the latter lashed out at the team’s decisions.
There was plenty of speculation that Leclerc was behind the move to force Binotto to resign, but he has denied that.
“Mattia called me to announce he is retiring,” Leclerc said at the FIA awards gala. “I respect his decision and can only thank him.
“Obviously he believed in me from the start, he extended me with a very, very long contract, and before he became team principal he was also with the Scuderia for many, many years and he contributed to the success of the team. team in recent years.
“So I wish him well and it’s clearly up to us now to focus on the future, trying to make the right choices to be a little bit more of a challenge for Red Bull next year.”
Ferrari is closing in on Fred Vasseur and that is good news for Charles Leclerc
According to recent speculation, Ferrari is about to appoint current Sauber team boss Fred Vasseur as the man to take Binotto’s place.
With Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna and Exor [Fiat parent company] CEO John Elkann who is leading the recruitment process will no doubt have wanted to keep Leclerc happy given his high potential and long contract and in Vasseur they may have found the perfect man to do just that.
The relationship between Vasseur and Leclerc dates back to the 2018 season and the latter’s debut in the sport which came under Vasseur’s management.
In 2018, which was Sauber’s first under current sponsor Alfa Romeo, the team finished eighth in the Constructors’ Championship with their best points tally since 2013.
Leclerc was responsible for 39 of 48 points and after a P6 in just the fourth race of his career, he ended the season with three consecutive P7 finishes.
It’s clear from the stats alone that Vasseur knew how to get the best out of Leclerc and Ferrari will want him to repeat that should he be the next contender to occupy the hottest Formula 1 seats.
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