Binotto Denies Having a ‘Ferrari Seat’ at Alfa Romeo in Big Blow to Giovinazzi’s F1 Hopes

Published 09/06/2021, 8:19 AM EDT
MONZA, ITALY: Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto talks in the Team Principals Press Conference during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Italy at Autodromo di Monza in Monza, Italy. (Photo by XPB/Pool via Getty Images)


Heading to Monza, F1 will wait for Toto Wolff’s promised announcement. However, there is a lot of talk surrounding Albon’s return to F1 with Williams. Toto Wolff, CEO of Mercedes Motorsports, prefers the seat to go to a Mercedes-backed driver. Mercedes is the manufacturer for Williams F1, and hence the debate begins if Wolff should have a say over the Williams seat. Ferrari boss, Binotto shares his thoughts.

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Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto is against it. “I believe that whatever is happening between a team and a driver that’s between the team and a driver and as manufacturers, we should not influence. I think that would be wrong.”

Formula One F1 – Steiermark Grand Prix – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, Styria, Austria – June 27, 2021 Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen in action with McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc during the race REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

In starting this, Binotto dismisses the concept of the “Ferrari seat” in Alfa Romeo. Alfa Romeo reserves a seat for a driver from the Ferrari Academy; however, Binotto explains he has no control over it. “Ferrari have never a word on the ‘Ferrari seat’ on Alfa. It was a contract between Alfa Romeo, so it was a right of the sponsor Alfa Romeo on the Sauber car.” 

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Regarding Wolff‘s advocacy of Nyck de Vries in the Williams seat, the Scuderia boss takes Alex Albon‘s side. “If a driver has got an opportunity to drive he should simply have the opportunity to drive, wherever it is coming from and if the team is happy to give him a seat, they need to give him a seat. That’s it.”

No Ferrari seat at Alfa Romeo?

With Valtteri’s seat at Alfa Romeo confirmed, the ‘Ferrari seat’ is still up for grabs. While Giovinazzi might retain his seat, there have been talks of a replacement there as well. Callum Ilott shows promise for the “Ferrari seat,”; but will Gio be making his exit from the team as well? A fresh lineup for the new era at Alfa Romeo sounds like a tempting thought.

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Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 14, 2021 Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

If Binotto claims the ‘Ferrari seat’ to be nonexistent, could Nyck de Vries partner Valtteri Bottas in the Scuderia team? Anything is possible.

The Monza week is going to be an interesting one for the driver market, as team dynamics and replacements look to bring about a sort of instability to the teams. Who will go where and when will the reshuffling begin? It’s only a matter of time before we find out.

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Shreya Sanjeev

340 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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