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Ill Ferrari chief Binotto heads back to Italy

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto flew home to Italy on Thursday after falling ill ahead of this weekend’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The 51-year-old Italian has not tested positive for Covid-19 and his illness is not related to the coronavirus, according to Sky Italia.

Binotto missed the Turkish and Bahrain Grands Prix last month to remain at Ferrari’s Maranello headquarters and direct the race operations from there.

He is heading home this weekend and will not be working from the factory, according to reports. He is understood to be staying home and resting.

Ferrari’s sporting director Laurent Mekies is expected to take charge of race operations at the Yas Marina Circuit this weekend, as he did for the two previous events when Binotto is absent.

Despite mounting a minor revival in recent weeks, Ferrari have endured a disappointing season and appear likely to finish out of the top five in the constructors championship.

Binotto has been under pressure amid speculation over his future, but has remained in his role as team chief.

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