Jenson Button has warned Mattia Binotto will be under pressure to deliver in Abu Dhabi as sack rumours intensify ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The 2009 champion claimed Ferrari “need stability” after throwing away their chance of competing with Red Bull for the world title.
He suggested it was not tenable for Binotto to be “scared for his job” as rumours emerge of a feud at the Scuderia. La Gazzetta dello Sport believes Binotto will not be in charge next season with Alfa Romeo team principal Frederic Vasseur possibly set to take over.
French newspaper L’Equipe has also reported Binotto and lead driver Charles Leclerc are not speaking after a fall-out at the British Grand Prix. Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Button said: “They do need stability and the problem is the team principal shouldn’t be scared for his job all the time.
“Yeah teams go through ups and downs and I think they are definitely on an up, they just need to work on a few things within the team. The problem is when you think your job can be over at the end of the season it puts a lot of pressure on you and you don’t perform greatly.”
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Ferrari denied the speculation ahead of the weekend as they appeared to throw their support behind Binotto. The 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.”
It’s not the first time Binotto has been under fire with CEO John Elkann suggesting the team needed to improve at the Italian Grand Prix. Leclerc won two of the first three races and looked set to embark on a title battle with Max Verstappen in 2022.
However, the team made a series of strategic mistakes in Monaco, Britain, France and Hungary which dented their chances. Accidents at Imola and Paul Ricard also dented Leclerc’s hopes of being closer to Red Bull.
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The team then lost performance over the summer with Mercedes now starting to bridge the gap. Button added: “They didn’t capitalise on the car they had.
“They had the best car at the start of this year, I think we’ve all forgotten that. Their strategy for me has been the big failure. They’ve had reliability issues, yes, they need to work on that, but it’s the strategy.
“As far as I know the strategist, the group of guys don’t actually have that much experience in Formula One.”