Amid continued speculation over the future of Mattia Binotto at Ferrari, a highly placed source has now confirmed to RacingNews365.com that he will leave his role as team boss.
The topic has been much discussed in the Italian media, with many publications examining what the team may look like without Binotto. According to them, it could be good news for Charles Leclerc, but perhaps less so for Carlos Sainz.
The La Gazzetta dello Sport has reported that Leclerc will become the team's undisputed number one, something the Monegasque is said to have always longed for. According to the publication, he is also being given that opportunity due to Fred Vasseur being put forward as the prime candidate to replace Binotto.
Vasseur has previously stated his belief in having one driver as the team leader, and knows Leclerc well after working with him during the driver's time at Alfa Romeo in 2018.
Leclerc's role at Ferrari
The newspaper questioned whether Leclerc may have played a role in the departure of Binotto, writing: "It is hard to imagine him capable of that, let alone having that power, but inside the 'gentleman' that Leclerc is lurks sky-high ambitions."
"It's a risky hypothesis," the publication stresses, also stating that Leclerc would be happy with a number one position within the team with Vasseur as boss, not least because Vasseur has worked with all recent F1 World Champions at some point since 2014, barring Max Verstappen.
Moreover, Leclerc and Vasseur are also linked by Leclerc's manager Nicolas Todt, Vasseur's business partner in the past.
"Between them there have been discussions at times, but that bond is strong," the newspaper added.
"Just recently, Vasseur indicated that his career would have looked very different without Todt."
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How would Sainz react?
The publication has also questioned how Sainz may respond to this possibility.
"It will be interesting to see how Carlos Sainz will react to this," they wrote.
"After all, he arrived in Maranello under the assumption that he could compete with Leclerc, something he has been able to do so far and has shown he is capable of doing so."
The Corriere dello Sport has also written about the topic in a manner that suggests they are convinced of Vasseur's arrival at Ferrari, with the outlet arguing that recent words from Ferrari chief Benedetto Vigna signalled that Binotto has had his day: "He made it clear that in his eyes second place is for the first loser."
The newspaper reports that Vasseur will be announced in January and that, until then, Vigna will be the interim team boss.
"One can imagine that Leclerc will be pleased with this choice, after previous dissatisfaction with certain choices made by Binotto, where the team interest was clearly put first," the publication adds.
They have also speculated about Sainz's feelings about this.
"If the new team boss is clearly going to choose one driver, we can already imagine that Sainz is going to bet on a future at Audi, the same brand his father [in rallying] competes for," the outlet wrote.
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