We will maybe one day know what the terms were of the ‘private agreement’ reached between the FIA and Ferrari over the matter, but we can be sure it involved a lot of very heated and serious heavyweight discussion. Perhaps it was during that time that Todt and Ferrari reached a rapprochement through Elkann. They each know where the bodies are buried in their storied histories.
It illustrates that in F1 alliances are usually only of the moment, invariably when aligned in joint or overlapping aims. But it also underlines that Binotto is in a position quite unique in Ferrari history. Previously, the link with parent company Fiat always made the team principal position there about as secure as a premiership football manager’s. Today Fiat is just part of the Stellantis group which in turn is part of the holding company Exor. Exor owns only 24% of Ferrari. Since Ferrari was partly privatised a few years ago, the link to Fiat is less umbilical and the importance of the team’s success – and therefore the pressure – to the bigger company has reduced. The move away from the internal combustion engine in the automotive field has only further lessened the sensitivity about the Scuderia’s on track performances.
It should therefore be more feasible for the team boss to create the stable environment essential to long term success. The sort of environment that Todt, Brawn and Schumacher created back in the days when Ferrari ruled on track. It’s a fantastic opportunity for Binotto even without the help of his old boss Todt.