Mattia Binotto blames Ferrari woes in Hungarian Grand Prix on pace, not strategy

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

The team was criticized for their strategy after Charles Leclerc, who had taken over from George Russell, put the final 30 laps of the race on hard tires.

With both Alpine drivers struggling on the same compound, Leclerc found no improvement as he struggled for grip, dropping behind Max Verstappen, while also allowing Russell to get back up to the front.

Leclerc called his doomed stint a “disaster”, but the Ferrari team boss said it was the first race this season in which the Scuderia was not quite up to speed.

“We certainly didn’t have the performance we expected today, regardless of the tires we used, soft, medium or hard,” Binotto told Sky F1.

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

“Whatever, because of the weather conditions it was a lot cooler today than Friday, so it’s hard somehow trying to have the right speed and pace and hold the position on the 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 doesn’t go as we hope. We will try to understand the reason of [it].

“I think it worked, but not as well as we hoped or expected, so I think if I at least look at Friday, [and the] pace we have, we had an advantage, we had an advantage over the competitors, which was not the case today. ”

Carlos Sainz supported Binotto’s views on the car’s pace after the Spaniard changed his strategy and stayed longer on his medium tires before switching to soft tires for his final laps.

But after knocking himself onto the podium and finishing P4, he felt the cooler conditions at the Hungaroring had played a part in limiting Ferrari’s potential on Sunday.

“We clearly had a hard time as a team,” Sainz told Sky F1. “I think we were a bit confused today because we expected to have a really good race pace from Friday.

“But it’s clear that these lower temperatures, the changes in track conditions that we had today, there was something going on with the car and the tires that just wasn’t fast enough for us.

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

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