Ferrari have replaced team principal Maurizio Arrivabene with technical chief officer Mattia Binotto after a disappointing season. German four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel will be working under a new boss.
Mattia Binotto (far left) is expected to replace current Ferrari boss (Maurizio Arrivabene). (picture-alliance/HOCH ZWEI)
Ferrari's major shake-up comes just two months out from the new Formula One season, following a barren few years where the constructor failed to keep up with a rampant Mercedes.
Arrivabene's position had been the subject of speculation for some time, with reports suggesting Binotto could replace the former Philip Morris marketing chief as far back as October 2017.
Strategic blunders by the team last year only increased the pressure on Arrivabene. Ferrari won six of the 21 races last season but their title challenge disintegrated in the second half of the campaign as rivals Mercedes won both the drivers' and constructors' championships for the fifth consecutive year.
This was despite Ferrari having the quicker car for long stretches during the season, however team mistakes, as well as driving errors from Vettel, saw their hopes crumble as Lewis Hamilton sealed the titles with two races remaining.
"After four years of untiring commitment and dedication Maurizio Arrivabene is leaving the team," Ferrari said in a statement.
"The decision was taken together with the company’s top management after lengthy discussions related to Maurizio’s long-term personal interests as well as those of the team itself. Ferrari would like to thank Maurizio for his valuable contribution to the team’s increasing competitiveness over the past few years and wish him the best for his future endeavours."
Binotto, 49, joined Ferrari as a test race engineer in 1995 before working his way up the ranks to become chief technical officer in 2016. He was credited with returning Ferrari to the front of the grid and will now take over as team principal.
Ferrari's drivers for the 2019 season are four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel, runner-up to Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton last year, and Monaco's Charles Leclerc, who has replaced Kimi Raikkonen.