Charles Leclerc talks about Mattia Binotto leaving Ferrari, his replacement and transition period ahead of the 2023 F1 season.

Post the Abu Dhabi GP, it didn’t take much long for Ferrari to confirm the departure of Binotto from the team at the end of December 2022. There were already speculations about him leaving and it was eventually confirmed that he has resigned.

Before the announcement, Binotto spoke to the drivers and the team of his decision as Leclerc highlighted the fact that the Italian was the one who brought him in the team and gave him a long contract. “Mattia called me to announce that he would stop,” he said. “I respect his decision. And I can only thank him.

“Obviously he has believed in me right from the start, he extended me with a very, very long contract. And before being team principal, he was also inside the Scuderia for many, many years and he has contributed to the success that the team had in the past years. So I wish him the best.

“And obviously now it’s up to us to focus on the future, and try and take the right choices in order to be a bit more of a challenge to Red Bull next year,” summed up Leclerc, who when asked about his replacement, noted that it is down to the bosses at Ferrari and not his choice to bring in a new team boss.

“I won’t comment that,” said Leclerc. “And obviously it’s also not my decision, John and Benedetto are going to take the decision. And we are just trying to focus on our job in the simulator, with the team, in order to have the best race car possible for next year. But the decision will be done by them.”

One name that is rumoured is his former Sauber boss Frederic Vasseur. But whoever comes in, it will be another task for him to gel in with the environment and get the results. The situation that Ferrari are in, it will be a big shoes to fill in but Leclerc believes it should be a smooth transition, while also stating that Binotto is working still until December end.

“To be honest, I don’t know because from my own experience, I’ve never had a team principal change when I was racing for the same team,” said Leclerc. “It will probably require a little bit of time for the team principal to get at ease with the system, and with Ferrari, because it’s obviously a huge team.

“But I believe that if it’s done the right way, I don’t think we will suffer any of it on the track. So I am pretty sure it will be a smooth transition,” summed up Leclerc. The departure of Binotto will have its affect on other teams in the sense that they will have a new person representing and everyone starting afresh.

While Toto Wolff has been quite open about his surprise that it took long for Binotto to leave, Christian Horner had some comfort words for the Italian. “I think, in all fairness to Mattia, he did a very good job in producing a very competitive car and engine for Ferrari, certainly this year,” he said.

“Obviously, they had their moments operationally. He committed a long period of his career and life to Ferrari, and I’m sure it must be very difficult for him to leave that team after all of that time. So, of course, a huge pressure in that team, because it’s a national team effectively, as well as an OEM team. And I think that it will now be the sixth team principal that I will sit across the table from, since I’ve been at Red Bull and, obviously, you know, a lot of pressure on that job.”

Here’s Toto Wolff on Mattia Binotto’s exit

Here’s Charles Leclerc taking the second place trophy

Here’s Ferrari drivers testing 2024 tyres

Here’s Charles Leclerc on Ferrari focusing on three elements

Here’s Mattia Binotto on new female series

Here’s Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz on Mattia Binotto’s departure

Here’s Mattia Binotto on losing out to Red Bull

Here’s potential earning of Ferrari drivers