after the departure of Mattia Binotto, Charles Leclerc bets on a « smooth transition »

Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc hopes for a « smooth » succession at the head of the Ferrari team, after the departure of its director Mattia Binotto.

« It will probably take some time for the team principal to get comfortable with the system, and with Ferrari, because obviously it’s a huge team. But if it’s done the right way, I don’t think we’ll suffer from it on the track.“, assured the vice-world champion 2022 during a press conference before the prize-giving gala of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), in Bologna (Italy).

« So I’m pretty sure it will be a smooth transition“, Continued the 25-year-old Monegasque, with Ferrari since 2019. Director of the Italian F1 team since 2019, Binotto presented his resignation at the end of November after another disappointing season at the Scuderia: “I respect his decision, and I can only thank him, he believed in me from the start, he extended me with a very, very long contract“, until the end of 2024, explained Leclerc.

The 53-year-old Italian, often criticized this season, is paying for his failure to regain the world title despite a much improved car in 2022. At the head of sports management, Binotto has certainly had his best result this season, 2nd in the championship pilots, with the Monegasque Charles Leclerc, and 2nd of the constructors. But he again failed to bring Ferrari back to the top against Red Bull and Max Verstappen, crowned world champions.

A probable arrival of Frédéric Vasseur

If his successor is not yet known, a name often comes up to replace him, that of Frenchman Frédéric Vasseur, director of the Alfa Romeo team, powered by Ferrari. A choice that would please Leclerc? If he refuses to speculate, leaving the choice in the hands of Ferrari chairman John Elkann and Benedetto Vigna, the managing director, he explains: « I’ve worked with Fred before in the junior categories, where he believed in me, and we’ve always had a good relationship (…) He’s always been very direct, very honest, and that’s something I appreciate at Fred’s« .

The Monegasque notably collaborated with the Frenchman for his first year of F1 in 2018, when he was racing for Sauber, the former name of Alfa Romeo.

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