Formula One: Ferrari team principal Binotto leaving after troubled season

AP , Tuesday 29 Nov 2022

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto is leaving the team at the end of next month after four years in which they often struggled to keep up with Formula One's leaders.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco in action during the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. AP

Binotto has been with Ferrari for 28 years and took over the team principal role in 2019.

The team was winless in 2020 and 2021, but started 2022 promisingly as Charles Leclerc won two of the opening three races, only for his title challenge to fizzle out as Red Bull's Max Verstappen won the championship with ease.

Ferrari came under criticism for blunders in its pit and tire strategies during Binotto's time in charge. A botched pit stop at the Dutch Grand Prix in September saw only three tires initially fitted to Carlos Sainz Jr.'s car and was seen as a symbol of Ferrari's difficulties.

``With the regret that this entails, I have decided to conclude my collaboration with Ferrari,'' Binotto said in a statement, adding he felt ``serenity'' at having done his best.

Ferrari did not immediately name a successor but said its choice ``is expected to be finalized in the new year.''

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