Charles Leclerc and Mattia Binotto ‘no longer speak’ after fall out

Mick Schumacher drives his father’s Ferrari F2003-GA

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Charles Leclerc and Mattia Binotto “no longer speak” amid tensions at Ferrari, according to French newspaper L’Equipe. It is understood the pair have not been close since the British Grand Prix when Binotto was seen telling off Leclerc in front of the TV cameras after the race.

The tensions boiled over at Silverstone after Leclerc had questioned the team’s decision not to swap him and Carlos Sainz despite Max Verstappen finishing lower down the top 10 after picking up damage. Leclerc also saw his title bid evaporate after a series of strategic errors cost the team results when they were at their most competitive in the first half of the season.

The Scuderia lost out to mistakes in Monaco, France, Britain and Hungary allowing Verstappen to open up an advantage. Ferrari’s performance then dropped off in the second half of the campaign as Red Bull cruised to both titles.

Binotto’s future at the team is uncertain after rumours surfaced that he could be replaced before the start of next season.

The Italian has not been present at the last two races, raising suspicion that his time at the helm could be over. La Gazzetta dello Sport also suggested Ferrari boss John Elkann had been considering a change.

Ex-Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene stoked tensions last week as he grinned to fans chanting ‘Binotto out’. Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur has been tipped as his possible replacement for 2023.

However, Ferrari appeared to deny the leaks as they claimed the reports were unfounded. A statement read: “In relation to speculation in certain media regarding Scuderia Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto’s position, Ferrari states that these rumours are totally without foundation.”

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Ferrari CEO Elkann put pressure on Binotto to improve his performance at the Italian Grand Prix. He stressed the team had made “too many mistakes” from reliability concerns to strategic blunders.

Elkann added: “We have trusted in Binotto and his team. That was the right decision. It has paid off and we can thank them that Ferrari is competitive and winning again. But I’m not satisfied. I think we can always improve. Our first goal was to be competitive. If you are not competitive, we could move forward. Now we are winning again, but we lack reliability. That is something we can always work on.”

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