Ferrari enters the Formula 1 summer break far behind Red Bull in the constructors’ championship after a strategic error led to Leclerc ‘s defeat at the Hungarian GP last Sunday.
Charles Leclerc was in the lead halfway through the race, but dropped to sixth after mounting hard tyres, a move that went wrong and with which he began to lose pace by leaps and bounds. His team-mate Carlos Sainz also fell out of contention for victory, finishing fourth with two poor stops, as Ferrari bemoaned pace problems in colder conditions.
This was not the only race this year where Ferrari’s strategic decisions have been called into question, but team principal Binotto denied there was a need for changes at Maranello .
“It’s not a question of bad luck, and there’s nothing to change either,” Binotto said after Sunday’s race. “It’s always a matter of continuous learning and building, accumulating experience, skills.”
“After Hungary there is obviously something to review and understand. But if I look back at the balance of the first half of the season, there is no reason to change.”
“I think we just have to face what went wrong, we have to understand it, and then deal with it and understand why we were able to be competitive in the 12 races to Hungary and not happen again in the next one.
Binotto claimed that Ferrari did not have the pace to win in Hungary, regardless of their strategy, but Leclerc was taken aback by the decision to run hard tyres.
The Monegasque driver ended up making a third pit stop, which made him finish sixth, and which means that the difference with Max Verstappen at the head of the drivers’ championship has grown to 80 points.
Binotto was confident that Leclerc will be able to “rest and relax to come back hungrier” after the summer break, helping to boost Ferrari and recover from its recent losing streak.
“As a leader that he is, it’s key to keep building, building for the team and building for himself step by step, and I think looking at every race as an opportunity to win,” Binotto said.
“We win and lose together. This Sunday was not a great day, but I think there is still a lot of potential. We have to focus first on understanding the reasons, address them and come back even stronger.”