Formula 1

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Ferrari have made an important change at the top before the new season

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Ferrari have continued their preparations for the new season by making a big change right at the top.

The prancing horse finished second behind their rivals Mercedes again last year in both the drivers' and constructors' championships.

Despite many people predicting that 2018 was finally going to be their year due to the belief that they had overtaken Mercedes in the power stakes, a number of individual errors on the track and pitwall ultimately cost them in the title race.

As a result, Sebastian Vettel's title challenge faltered under the relentless pressure of Lewis Hamilton, with the Silver Arrows taking all the honours yet again as they continue to dominate the F1 landscape.

Before the season finished, Ferrari made the decision to part ways with Kimi Raikkonen, meaning that Charles Leclerc will lineup as the second driver, having moved from Sauber.

And it seems that the Italians have decided to make a bold change off the track too.

Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene has paid the price for Ferrari's recent failings and will be replaced by former chief technical officer Mattia Binotto.

Ferrari President John Elkann didn't renew Arrivanene's contract at the end of the season, with reports even going so far as to say that a change was the wish of former boss Sergio Marchionne before he passed away in the summer.

F1 Grand Prix of Mexico - Final Practice

Binotto was previously in charge of Ferrari's power unit development before becoming technical boss in 2016.

Former Renault boss, Flavio Briatore believes the change was necessary after Ferrari have been unable to win either of the championships since 2008.

"This year Ferrari had what it takes to win the championship and did not do it," Briatore said, per GP Fans.

"When you do not win, things have to change and I imagine that those who drive the Scuderia di Maranello have thought this way.

"Binotto did an excellent job as Technical Director, last year Ferrari had a very good car, very fast and with a different manegement of the drivers could bring the world championship home.

AUTO-PRIX-F1-UAE-ABU DHABI-PREVIEWS

"We will see what work he will do as a Team Principal and Technical Director."

With Ferrari going into meltdown at key stages of last season, the change could be just what they needed.

But with Lewis Hamilton in the form of his life at arguably the strongest team on the grid, it still may not be enough to see off Mercedes.

Topics:
Charles Leclerc
Maurizio Arrivabene
Sebastian Vettel
Kimi Raikkonen
Lewis Hamilton
Ferrari
Mercedes
Formula 1

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