Last week, Ferrari announced that Binotto will be leaving the team at the end of December.

The decision calls time on Binotto’s tenure as team principal of Ferrari after taking over from Maurizio Arrivabene in 2019.

F1 2023 driver line-up - who will underachieve?

Ferrari’s inability to capitalise on having the quickest car for over half of the season ultimately cost Binotto his job, with the Scuderia’s top brass growing increasingly frustrated.

Speaking at the FIA’s end of season prize giving gala, Leclerc thanked Binotto, but admitted it’s time to “focus on the future”.

“Mattia called me to announce that he will stop which I respect his decision and I can only thank him,” Leclerc said. “He believed in me right from the start, he extended me with a very long contract and before being team principal he was also inside the Scuderia for many, many years and he has contributed to the success the team had in the past years. I wish him the best and obviously now it’s now up to us to focus on the future, try and take the right choices in order to be a bit more of a challenge to Red Bull next year.”

Leclerc refused to state who he’d like to see replace Binotto, with his former team boss at Sauber, Frederic Vasseur in the frame.

“No. I won’t comment on that,” he added. “Obviously it’s also not my decision. John [Elkann] and Benedetto [Vigna] are going to take the decision. 

“We are just trying to focus our job on the simulator, with the team in order to have the best race car possible for next year but the decision will be done by them.”