Seven-time Formula 1 grand prix winner Rene Arnoux has criticised Mattia Binotto, insisting he would’ve sacked the Italian “several years ago”.
Shortly after the end of the 2022 season, Ferrari announced that Binotto would not return as its team boss for the 2023 campaign.
Binotto took up his role as Ferrari Team Principal in 2019 after two decades of working as an engineer with the outfit.
In 2022, Ferrari started the year in strong fashion but its form dropped off as the season wore on, with Red Bull dominating both championships.
Arnoux, who spent three seasons in F1 racing for Ferrari in the 1980s, has placed the blame for the team’s slump on Binotto’s shoulders.
“I didn’t like seeing a very competitive Ferrari let the Championship slip away because we started well,” Arnoux told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“It’s true that there was no reliability, but we lost some grands prix almost as if we had done it on purpose.
“The mistakes he [Binotto] made for me in Formula 1 are unforgivable. I’ve never been on Binotto’s side. Someone who says ‘It will be better next year, it will be better next year’, doesn’t deserve that place.
“I would have fired him several years ago, I’ve said it several times. Behaviour like his is intolerable when you are at the head of the most beautiful team in the world.”
Binotto will be replaced by Frederic Vasseur, who arrives at the Maranello-based squad after several years at the helm of Alfa Romeo.
Arnoux has called on Vasseur to mirror Jean Todt’s approach to team management in order to find success.
“Vasseur has to find the right people,” he said. “You don’t have to know how to make a gearbox or an engine. [Jean] Todt didn’t care.
“You must have the right, competent people in the right place. And then manage them.
“When you have Ross Brawn as technical director and then Rory Byrne and Paolo Martinelli you just have to make them work well. As Todt did and as Vasseur must do.”