Ferrari Team Principal Binotto Leaving after Troubled Season

Formula One F1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - November 19, 2022 Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto. (Reuters)
Formula One F1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - November 19, 2022 Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto. (Reuters)
TT

Ferrari Team Principal Binotto Leaving after Troubled Season

Formula One F1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - November 19, 2022 Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto. (Reuters)
Formula One F1 - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - November 19, 2022 Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto. (Reuters)

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto is leaving the team at the end of next month after four years in which they often struggled to keep up with Formula One's leaders.

Binotto has been with Ferrari for 28 years and took over the team principal role in 2019.

The team was winless in 2020 and 2021, but started 2022 promisingly as Charles Leclerc won two of the opening three races, only for his title challenge to fizzle out as Red Bull's Max Verstappen won the championship with ease.

Ferrari came under criticism for blunders in its pit and tire strategies during Binotto's time in charge. A botched pit stop at the Dutch Grand Prix in September saw only three tires initially fitted to Carlos Sainz Jr.'s car and was seen as a symbol of Ferrari's difficulties.

“With the regret that this entails, I have decided to conclude my collaboration with Ferrari,” Binotto said in a statement, adding he felt “serenity” at having done his best.

Ferrari did not immediately name a successor but said its choice “is expected to be finalized in the new year.”



Still Plenty of Fear for Real Madrid Coach Ancelotti Despite Champions League Final Successes 

Real Madrid's Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti gives a press conference at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on May 27, 2024 ahead of their Champions League final football match against Borussia Dortmund. (AFP)
Real Madrid's Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti gives a press conference at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on May 27, 2024 ahead of their Champions League final football match against Borussia Dortmund. (AFP)
TT

Still Plenty of Fear for Real Madrid Coach Ancelotti Despite Champions League Final Successes 

Real Madrid's Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti gives a press conference at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on May 27, 2024 ahead of their Champions League final football match against Borussia Dortmund. (AFP)
Real Madrid's Italian coach Carlo Ancelotti gives a press conference at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on May 27, 2024 ahead of their Champions League final football match against Borussia Dortmund. (AFP)

Carlo Ancelotti is going into his eighth Champions League final, having won all but one of them.

He is the most successful coach in the competition thanks to four titles. He also lifted two European trophies as a player.

There is no lack of experience for the veteran Italian manager. But there is still plenty of anxiety and fear for Ancelotti ahead of yet another big game.

“It’s the same as it was the first time,” the 64-year-old Ancelotti said as Real Madrid entered the final week of preparations ahead of Saturday’s final against Borussia Dortmund in London.

“First there is the joy of being here, then the concerns will come and the fear will come,” he said. “But before they come we have to enjoy this week and I’m going to enjoy it. The cold sweat will arrive Saturday afternoon, it’s normal, I’m already prepared for it. And this team gives me a lot of confidence, I see them focused on the match, they are in Champions (League) mode.”

Ancelotti won the Champions League with Madrid in 2022 and 2014, and with AC Milan in 2003 and 2007. He lost the 2005 edition with AC Milan in a final in a penalty shootout against Liverpool after squandering a 3-0 lead.

His European triumphs as a player came with Milan in 1989 and 1990. He was also in the squad with Roma when it reached the 1984 final but he sat out injured.

Ancelotti said he will stick to his routine before the final at Wembley Stadium.

“I’m a bit superstitious but it’s very normal. I was told that it’s bad luck not to be superstitious,” he said. “I like to eat broccoli, salmon and pasta, and that’s what I’ll eat. Then I’ll have an hour’s nap, if I’m able to. And then I’ll start thinking about the match. Before the talk with the players, my heart will start to rise to 110 or 120 beats. It’ll stay up there until the start of the game, and when it starts it will go back to its normal rhythm.”

Ancelotti said some of his most memorable Champions League highlights are linked to his time with Madrid, including the incredible run in 2022, when it had to rally several times to make it to the final. He also mentioned the late comeback in the semifinal against Bayern Munich a few weeks ago, when Joselu scored in the 88th minute and in stoppage time.

Ancelotti said this season was especially difficult because of the long list of injuries to some of the team’s key players, including serious knee problems to Thibaut Courtois, Éder Militão and David Alaba. Also missing time because of injuries were Vinícius Júnior, Jude Bellingham, Eduardo Camavinga and Aurélien Tchouaméni.

“Attitude and commitment have been the key to overcoming all the problems we’ve had,” Ancelotti said. “That’s what allowed us to have a fantastic season.”

Madrid, which also won the Spanish league and the Spanish Super Cup, is trying to win its sixth European Cup in 10 seasons, matching a feat the club also achieved from 1955-65.

Ancelotti said he prides himself more about the way he has managed his locker rooms than his teams’ tactics over the years.

“Personal relationships are more important than professional relationships,” he said. “I’m not a psychologist but I’m experienced as I’ve worked for many years in locker rooms. I try to treat people with respect not only in tactical aspects but also in personal aspects. I’m in an environment with 50 people and I spend more time with them than with my wife and children. So if there are not good relationships and there is not a good atmosphere, then I’m not doing my job.”