Toto Wolff has ruled out Mattia Binotto potentially making a Formula 1 switch to Mercedes – believing the two “have had their moments.”
Binotto resigned as Ferrari team boss at the end of the 2022 season following the Scuderia’s failure to mount a sustained championship push against Red Bull.
He will formally leave the team on December 31st and then be placed on a period of gardening leave – as is customary when a big team figure departs.
Before replacing Maurizio Arrivabene as boss in 2019, Binotto headed up the technical side of the Ferrari operation – with his speciality in engines, something that will come in handy in the build-up to the 2026 power unit regulations.
However, Wolff feels that too much has gone on between the two for him to consider Binotto joining the technical ranks at Mercedes.
Wolff rules out Binotto
“I think there was too much porcelain broken between us over the last few years that this would be possible,” Wolff said on the F1 Beyond The Grid podcast when asked if it was a possibility.
“With the other teams. I can’t say.
“Certainly, Mattia understands Formula 1 inside out and maybe he finds a role in a team – there are many out there that could be targets.
“Mattia and I had our moments, it’s not secret over the many years, but we consolidated that in 2022.
“We are in a much better place, but it was always clear that he was under tremendous pressure.
“Being team principal at Ferrari, you better have a good contract [ready] for your exit.
“The unavoidable has probably happened – but he held onto it for longer than I thought.”
Wolff on possible Ferrari links
Ferrari’s search for Binotto’s replacement is underway, and Wolff says he would be lying if he didn’t think about the job when he first entered F1.
“[Any]body who says he wouldn’t have been interested in [becoming] Ferrari team principal simply doesn’t tell the truth,” Wolff explained.
“I had to pinch myself until today that Daimler gave me the opportunity of becoming a managing partner and co-shareholder.
“It is something I feel tremendously proud of, but equally if Ferrari would have come around the corner and miraculously offered me such a position, it would have been the same.”