Ferrari’s Binotto to skip races in 2021

FILMING DAY STATICO - MARANELLO 18/02/2021 credit: © Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Last year, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto missed the Turkish and British Grands Prix preferring to test out a sort of remote team boss concept. He also missed Abu Dhabi due to illness and this left Laurent Mekies at the helm.

At Ferrari’s launch this week, Mattia says he will miss races in 2021 as well.

“Last year, I missed some races because in the end, there is an entire company to manage and it’s not only the race weekend at the race track,” Binotto said.

“There are a lot of things going on back at Maranello, a lot of people to manage, co-ordinate, and the activity itself.

“This year will hopefully be a 23-race championship. It will be very long, it will be very dense in the second half, and there is quite a big challenge for 2022 as well to face.

“So, my intention will be again not to be at all the races in the 2021 season. Certainly I will be part of the start of the season itself.

“That will be important to at least assess our performance at the start, to make sure that everything is working well at the race track.

“But, at some stage, I will start missing some races and being back at Maranello concentrated on 2022.”

Now I could be completely off the mark here but I am showing a yellow card on this one, folks. The concept that there is a car company back home to manage and only Mattia can do that either means that he needs to hire a team boss for the F1 team or a managing director for Ferrari.

He said last year that there was a lot to prep for in 2021 and now there is a lot to prep for in 2022. If I had to gamble, I would say that Ferrari are set to make changes eventually to the team but you never know, perhaps he finds those Zoom calls for effective from his office in Maranello.

I’m just not convinced that a virtual Mattia, like some sort Max Headroom version of a digital team boss, is the best way to manage the team. There are many things that happen over a weekend that Mattia is firmly aware of but perhaps he can make critical decisions remotely and if that’s the case, will we see Zak Brown, Christian Horner or Gunther Steiner working from home?

It’s an odd change and perhaps I am reading too much in to it but we’ll see how this pans out and if it becomes a new work-from-home strategy to avoid COVID and reduce travel cost for personnel that can remotely manage their roles.

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