Binotto blames Ferrari woes on pace, not strategy

Henry Valantine
Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto. Hungary July 2022.

Mattia Binotto takes a phone call in the paddock in Hungary. Budapest July 2022.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said the car’s performance was not as the team had expected in the Hungarian Grand Prix after an afternoon to forget.

The team drew criticism for their strategy after switching Charles Leclerc, who had taken the lead of the race from George Russell, onto hard tyres for the final 30 laps of the race.

With both Alpine drivers struggling on the same compound, Leclerc found no improvement as he struggled for grip, which saw him drop behind Max Verstappen, with Russell also able to get back in front.

Leclerc dubbed his doomed stint a “disaster”, but the Ferrari team boss felt it was the first race this season in which the Scuderia had not quite been on the pace.

“Certainly we didn’t have today the performance we were expecting as in whatever the tyres we were using, soft, medium or hard,” Binotto told Sky F1.

“I think at the end, the performance of our car was not as expected and the car is not performing well.

“Whatever, because of maybe the weather conditions, it was a lot cooler today compared to Friday, so it is difficult somehow to try to have the right speed, the right pace and keep up the position on track.

“So today the car was not behaving well. I think that’s the point that the first time this season, [in] 13 or 12 races, the first time it’s not working as we are hoping for. We’ll try to understand the reason of [it].

“I think it was working but not as well as we were hoping or expecting for, so I think if I look at Friday at least, [and the] pace we’ve got, we had an edge, we had an advantage on the competitors, which was not the case today.”

Carlos Sainz backed up Binotto’s view about the pace of the car after the Spaniard took a different strategy and stayed on his medium tyres for longer before switching to the softs for his final laps.

But having been beaten to the podium himself, finishing P4, he felt the cooler conditions at the Hungaroring had played their part in limiting Ferrari’s potential on Sunday.

“We clearly struggled as a team,” Sainz told Sky F1. “I think today we were a bit puzzled because we expected to have very good race pace coming from Friday.

“But it’s clear these lower temperatures, the track condition changes we had today, there was something going on with the car and the tyres that we just were not fast.

“Something to analyse, a day to probably look back, regroup, see what we what we did wrong for these kinds of conditions and come back after the summer break with a better package.”


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