Leclerc went from mid-race leader to sixth on Sunday at the Hungaroring, after the switch to the hard tire caused his pace to plummet.
His teammate, Carlos Sainz, could only finish fourth after missing out on the fight for the victory with two bad pitstops in his two stops and another ruined strategy.
Although Binotto admitted that Ferrari got Leclerc’s strategy wrong and should not have used the hard ones, he doubts that Ferrari could have beaten Max Verstappen and Red Bull.
“I don’t think so,” Binotto replied when asked if it was possible for Ferrari to win the Hungarian GP.
“What we lacked was really speed and pace. I don’t think we could have won, and the reason for that I don’t know.”
“Because it’s the first time in the first 13 races that we haven’t had the speed to be out there fighting for the win. We have to look at what happened in performance first, to understand.”
“I’m pretty sure then we’ll understand that, and we’ll also understand why the tires weren’t working properly.
With this result, Verstappen extends his lead in the F1 drivers’ championship to 80 points over Charles Leclerc ahead of the summer break, while Red Bull sits 97 ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ standings.
Ferrari’s pace in the short and long runs of Friday practice indicated that they were the team to beat, so the lack of performance in the race came as a surprise.
“If I go by Friday’s pace, it should have been an easy one-two,” Sainz said. “But in the race we suffered on every lap. There was no balance in the car.”
“I couldn’t push because I opened the front tyre. I was struggling quite a bit with the car, and I’m not surprised that I finished fourth because the feeling in the car was quite poor.”
Sainz considered performance to be the main problem for Ferrari in Hungary, not strategy, and compared his race to that of Lewis Hamilton, who started seventh and finished second.
“If you compare my pace on softs with Lewis’s, it’s clear we’ve gone from being much faster on Friday to being slower on Sunday,” Sainz said.
“In the end, we stopped early because we ran out of front wheels, and in the end, yes, maybe the pace wasn’t bad, but for 15 laps afterwards we degraded a lot. We have to analyze why these temperatures have affected us.
“On Friday, I was pushing flat out and not suffering any degradation, and on Sunday I couldn’t push and was degrading like crazy at the front end.”
“For me, it was more the pace. I don’t know in the other car. Today for me, it was the temperatures, a big performance change that I didn’t expect.