Ferrari’s 2018 Formula One Championship season was something of a disappointment. A strong start to the year brought with it the hopes that we might just see Sebastian Vettel contesting for his fifth title, breaking Lewis Hamilton’s dominant streak. But when things go wrong in Maranello and another championship slips from their fingers, someone has to pay. That someone, in this case, is team principal Maurizio Arrivabene.
Arrivabene was named principal after the 2014 season, a year that saw Ferrari’s desperate scramble to shake up the power structure result in multiple principal changes. That year started off with Stefano Domenicali at the helm. He was replaced by Marco Mattiacci in April in hopes that Ferrari could turn a poor season around. And when Mattiacci couldn’t produce results, in came Arrivabene.
Technical director Mattia Binotto is set to replace Arrivabene, reports Formula1.com. Apparently, there was already tension between Arrivabene and Binotto as Sebastian Vettel’s championship hopes began to dissipate throughout the season. And with Sergio Marchionne’s death (and his replacement by John Elkann), the likelihood that fundamental changes would be taking place before 2019 was high.
Sebastian Vettel won the first two races of the 2018 season and was within striking distance of Hamilton until the summer break. When the series returned with the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, Ferrari was still technically competitive, but morale was low, mistakes became more frequent, and development stagnated. It was a long shot that they were going to beat out the more secure Mercedes.
While Arrivabene’s replacement is still officially unconfirmed, it’s believed that the team will announce everything soon—possibly as early as this afternoon.