Ferrari made the "wrong decision" picking Mattia Binotto to replace Maurizio Arrivabene as its Formula 1 team principal, says former technical director Gary Anderson.
Following months of denials that Ferrari was considering a major management shake-up after another failed attempt to win the Formula 1 world championship, news of the change leaked out on Monday.
Insiders with good knowledge of the situation have revealed that Ferrari president John Elkann has decided that Binotto is the right man to lead Ferrari in 2019.
Although there has been no official announcement, a report in Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport hinted that confirmation could come as early as today.
The move to replace Arrivabene has come after a season when management errors were viewed as one of the key factors in it failing to secure the world championship title.
Although having delivered the quickest car for stages of the season, the team failed to capitalise on its opportunities as Mercedes again came out on top.
The failure to deal with the issue of team orders in a clear manner like Mercedes did triggered unnecessary flash points between Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel at the German and Italian Grands Prix.
There were also a number of strategic blunders, one of which in Japan, when the team opted for the wrong tyres in qualifying, prompted a remarkable outburst from Arrivabene about the approach his staff were taking.
Arrivabene later switched his attention to blaming lack of progress with car development.
There have long been rumours that Binotto and Arrivabene had disagreements about the direction and approach of the team as it bid to end its F1 title drought.
Before the Christmas break, Arrivabene hit out at what he called 'fake news' over reports that Binotto was so frustrated with the situation that he could leave the outfit.
"The rumours about Mattia are a fake news, put around to create instability in the team," he said.
"It is an attempt to try to create problems where there are no problems, and I do not want to comment on false rumours any more.
"During this season there have been many attempts at destabilisation, sometimes with stories about the drivers, others about the technicians.
"My position? Ask [Ferrari] managing director [Louis] Camilleri."
But in the end, it appears that Ferrari's senior bosses have decided that its hopes of stopping Mercedes' dominance are better served with Binotto in charge.
Ferrari stalwart Binotto has been technical chief since 2016, when he stepped up to the role following the team's split with James Allison.
Binotto first joined Ferrari in 1995, originally as a test engine engineer – and then performed a similar role for the race team from 1997 to 2003.
After a spell as a race engine engineer, and chief engineer, he became head of engine and KERS in 2009 – before stepping up to chief operating officer of the power unit at the end of 2014.
It is unclear who will replace Binotto as head of Ferrari's technical department, but there are suggestions the team may elect to simply hand more responsibility to aero chief Enrico Cardile and head of its engine department Corrado Iotti.
Mattia Binotto, Ferrari Chief Technical Officer
Photo by: Mark Sutton / Sutton Images