Ferrari F1 chief Binotto to skip Abu Dhabi GP through illness

Ferrari Formula 1 chief Mattia Binotto will skip this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix through a non-COVID-19 related illness

Ferrari F1 chief Binotto to skip Abu Dhabi GP through illness

Binotto has missed a couple of recent races as part of preparations for the 23-race calendar in 2021, when he is set to skip some rounds within a wider policy to rotate staff and ensure team personnel stay fresh.

After returning to the F1 paddock for last weekend's Sakhir Grand Prix, Binotto is understood to have become ill while he was still in Bahrain, and will fly directly back to Italy.

Team sources have assured Autosport that Binotto has not contracted COVID-19, but is instead suffering from a simple indisposition.

It means the reins for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend will be again handed over to Ferrari F1 sporting director, Laurent Mekies.

Mekies has overseen the on-site running of the race weekends in Turkey and Bahrain, with Binotto still heading up proceedings remotely from Maranello.

Binotto explained last month that Ferrari had to look after its staff and prevent them from burning out in order to maintain the "right level of efficiency, concentration and focus" in light of the record-breaking 23-race calendar proposed for next year.

"Considering myself, you need to balance your tasks at the race track and at the factory," Binotto said at Imola.

"The factory is important, where we are developing the car and preparing the cars.

"For myself, I think I will not be at all the races. Even in 2020 I am considering skipping some of the races in the last part of the season, starting from Turkey.

"But that is more of an eventuality for next year, because when you are responsible for an entire team, certainly the race event is important, but also the entire management of the team is important.

"[When] increasing the number of races, there is a judgement that needs to be done to take care where you can on some engineers and technicians to eventually find a balance."

Ferrari heads into this weekend's Abu Dhabi season finale sitting sixth in the constructors' championship, with lead driver Charles Leclerc also sixth in the drivers' standings.

The race will mark Sebastian Vettel's final appearance for the team ahead of his switch to Aston Martin for the 2021 season.

shares
comments
McLaren advances plans for company restructure and £500m refinancing

Previous article

McLaren advances plans for company restructure and £500m refinancing

Next article

Aitken still in limbo over Williams F1 Abu Dhabi drive

Aitken still in limbo over Williams F1 Abu Dhabi drive
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Ferrari
Author Luke Smith
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021