Ferrari has just announced that, effective immediately, team principal Maurizio Arrivabene is leaving the team.
Arrivabene spent four years in the role of team principal, having joined in December 2014. Previously, he had served as a vice president at Philip Morris, the tobacco company that serves as Ferrari’s main sponsor in Formula 1.
Former technical boss Mattia Binotto will fill Arrivabene’s role immediately. Binotto first joined Ferrari in 1995 as a test engine engineer, working on and off with the team until he was appointed as technical director in 2016. It’s currently unclear who will fill his former role.
Arrivabene presided over a resurgent Ferrari team, but he was actually considered a figurehead, with the real decision-making power resting in the hands of former president Sergio Marchionne. It’s said that Marchionne intended to replace Arrivabene with Binotto, and after Marchionne’s death in July 2018 the principal and technical director engaged in a power struggle.
Arrivabene oversaw the last 81 of the Scuderia Ferrari F1 team’s races, taking 14 victories, 71 podiums, and 12 pole positions in total. The team’s 2018 season was marred by several key management errors that many suggest are the reason it wasn’t able to beat Mercedes-AMG to win the championship.
Whether this shift in power will improve things is yet to be seen. With four-time champion Sebastien Vettel and hungry newcomer Charles Leclerc behind the wheel for 2019, we’ll just have to wait and see!