Red Bull team boss Christian Horner admits he has sympathy for Mattia Binotto, who vacated his role at the head of the Ferrari Formula 1 team last year.
Binotto’s exit came following a difficult 2022 campaign for Ferrari, which was marred by strategy blunders and reliability concerns.
The Italian squad appeared to be in World Championship contention after the opening rounds of the season, however its dip in form saw Red Bull go on to dominate the year.
Nevertheless, Ferrari returned to the top step of the podium for the first time since 2019, with Charles Leclerc taking three victories, while team-mate Carlos Sainz secured his maiden win.
Horner believes that Binotto performed well in his role, having been promoted to the position in 2019 after over two decades of work as an engineer.
“It has been interesting to watch the movement,” Horner told Motorsport Magazine. “I have sympathy for Mattia, because ultimately he’d done a good job.
“Last year, that was a big step forward from where they had been, so that must be tough for him after such long service that he had given to Ferrari.”
In Binotto’s place comes Frederic Vasseur, who takes up the position following several seasons at the helm of the Alfa Romeo F1 squad.
“Fred, it’ll be interesting to see if he’s still arguing about the same points that he was for Sauber in upcoming meetings! But again, he’s a very capable guy,” he said.
“So yeah, it’ll be very interesting. I’m sure they’re all very capable people. So we’ll get to see what the dynamics are at the next Formula 1 Commission meeting.”
Another off-season managerial change sees ex-Mercedes strategy chief James Vowles take over the head of the Williams team.
Vowles is set to start work at Williams later this month, with Horner commending the Grove-based squad for providing the Briton with the opportunity.
“I don’t know James particularly well, but he’s obviously a very capable guy,” Horner said.
“Williams will have done their due diligence and research and I think it’s great that they’re giving him the chance to make that step up. So I think that can only be good news for Williams.
“And is there anything attached to that? Williams would have obviously done what’s right for them and right for their business. But only they will know what has been agreed for that early release to have happened.”
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