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Binotto pushing for Ferrari top job

A power struggle is threatening to disturb the focus of Ferrari’s push to end a ten-year championship drought.

Sebastian Vettel pushed his lead over Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton to 14 points in Hungary, with Ferrari’s first one-two finish of the season.

But Italian media sources as well as the major German newspaper Bild report that a power struggle is taking place behind closed doors at Maranello.

The power play is between Maurizio Arrivabene and technical boss Mattia Binotto, with the latter trying to take over as Ferrari team principal.

Bild said Arrivabene, the current Ferrari team boss, has moved to involve major sponsor Philip Morris – his former employer – in the dispute.

The first sign of Binotto’s push for power came some weeks ago, when Ferrari engine chief Lorenzo Sassi was demoted to the road car division.

Ferrari did not comment.

But recent technical ‘tricks’ used by Ferrari in 2017, including adding oil to the fuel and an allegedly flexible floor, have been banned by the FIA.

Both innovations were attributed to the creative atmosphere fostered under Binotto, but the Italian said: “I think the oil burning is not something directly related to Ferrari.

“And the floor, honestly, I don’t think there is any impact on our performance.”

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