Former Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has been selected as Alpine’s new Formula 1 Team Principal, according to L’Auto Journal.
The French outlet reports that Renault Groupe CEO Luca de Meo has chosen Binotto to take the reigns from Otmar Szafnauer who left Alpine after the Belgian Grand Prix as part of a mass exodus of senior staff.
Alpine currently finds itself sixth in the Constructor’s standings on 57 points, some 46 points adrift of next best McLaren.
Binotto, who himself was ousted by Ferrari and replaced by Fred Vasseur, was previously spotted in the F1 paddock in Silverstone. L’Auto Journal also claims the Italian was also present at a private Pirelli tyre test in Spa following the Belgian Grand Prix.
It’s reported that Binotto has already accepted the offer of Alpine Team Principal from De Meo, his role could include a wider focus. It is understood that the former Ferrari man would only entertain offers that would allow him to restructure a team as he sees fit. Renault’s existing leadership hierarchy would make such a feat difficult for Binotto without some form of carte blanche.
Binotto is expected to officially move into the role in September. Until then, Bruno Famin will continue to serve as Interim Team Principal.
One Italian journalist, Leo Turrini, wrote for Quotidiano: “In France they say that Binotto already has the agreement with Alpine. I wouldn’t be surprised and I wrote it.
“I have known Mattia for almost 30 years. He is a smart guy, perhaps undermined by an excess of self-esteem.
“He had the Ferrari [team] in hand for a few years, it was his dream come true. Other dreams, however, have failed, also due to his own responsibility.
“He made mistakes, but he wasn’t always helped. He trusted the wrong friends and in communication it was a disaster. Some of his utterances cry out for revenge.
“But, for the avoidance of doubt, he is a smart person. If he finds a mentor in De Meo and learns to listen more, he could do very good things.”