Mattia Binotto will leave his role as Ferrari’s Formula 1 team principal at the end of the year after the Italian outfit confirmed it has accepted his resignation.

Binotto’s future became a hot topic ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with reports Alfa Romeo boss Frederic Vasseur was being lined up as a replacement.

While Ferrari was clear the speculation had “no foundation” and assured Binotto his position was safe, further reports in the Italian media stated Binotto’s departure was imminent.

In a statment issued on Tuesday, Ferrari confirmed Binotto will leave his role as team principal on December 31 after almost three decades at the team.

“I would like to thank Mattia for his many great contributions over 28 years with Ferrari and particularly for leading the team back to a position of competitiveness during this past year,” said Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna.

“As a result, we are in a strong position to renew our challenge, above all for our amazing fans around the world, to win the ultimate prize in motorsport. Everyone here at the Scuderia and in the wider Ferrari community wishes Mattia well for the future.”

Binotto joined Ferrari in 1995 and worked his way up through the ranks of the Scuderia’s engine department before taking over as chief technical officer in 2016 after James Allison’s departure.

But when Ferrari decided to part ways with team boss Maurizio Arrivabene ahead of the 2019 season, Binotto was chosen as his successor.

Despite four victories during Binotto’s first season in the role, Ferrari then slumped to its worst campaign for 40 years in 2020, finishing sixth in the constructors’ championship.

This would result in Binotto overseeing a major restructure of Ferrari’s technical departments, and the following year the team made clear progress on-track as it finished third in the final standings.

The overhaul of the technical regulations for 2022 presented Ferrari with a real opportunity to end its 15-year wait for a drivers’ title, and with two wins from the opening three races, it seemed its objective could turn into a reality.

But a catalogue of errors operationally would see Ferrari’s championship hopes fade as it failed to build momentum throughout the season and challenge eventual champions Red Bull on a consistent basis.

“With the regret that this entails, I have decided to conclude my collaboration with Ferrari,” said Binotto.

“I am leaving a company that I love, which I have been part of for 28 years, with the serenity that comes from the convinction that I have made every effort to achieve the objectives set.

“I leave a united and growing team. A strong team, ready, I’m sure, to achieve the highest goals, to which I wish all the best for the future.

“I think it is right to take this step at this time as hard as this decision has been for me. I would like to thank all the people at the Gestione Sportiva who have shared this journey with me, made up of difficulties but also of great satisfaction.”

Ferrari revealed it is now in the process of identifying Binotto’s successor for next year and plans to confirm its new team principal in early 2023.