Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Hungaroring, 2022

Ferrari weren’t quick enough to win in Hungary regardless of strategy – Binotto

2022 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto believes the team lost the Hungarian Grand Prix because they weren’t quick enough, not because of the team’s strategy.

Charles Leclerc passed George Russell on-track to take the lead of the race. He made his second pit stop on lap 39 and switched onto a set of hard tyres.

From there his race went downhill rapidly. Leclerc was unable to keep Max Verstappen behind and eventually had to discard his hard tyres and make a third pit stop for a set of softs, leaving him in sixth place at the finish.

Binotto said the team’s car wasn’t as quick as expected in Hungary and believes that, rather than the decision to switch Leclerc to mediums, cost them victory.

“What we were lacking today was really speed and pace,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans. “I don’t think we could have won today.

“The reason not, I don’t know, because it’s the first time in the first 13 races that we didn’t have the speed somehow to be there for the victory. So we need to look at first into that, performance-wise, to understand. I’m pretty sure that when we understand that we will understand as well why the car was not working properly.”

The team looked strong on Friday, when practice was run in significantly hotter conditions. “The car today was not working as expected and we didn’t have the speed we were hoping for, looking back at the pace that we had on the race simulation on Friday,” said Binotto. “Today certainly different conditions, a lot cooler, but overall the speed today was not great enough and whatever tyres we were using I don’t think that we were as good as we were looking for and hoping for.”

Switching to the hard compound tyres at Leclerc’s second pit stop amplified their problems, said Binotto. The team expected Leclerc would experience a brief loss of performance on the hard but soon be in a stronger position than Verstappen, who was running on mediums.

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“Certainly [it was] even worse with the hard. When we fitted the hard our simulation was that it would have been a difficult couple of laps of warm-up. They would have been slower to the medium for 10, 11 laps. But then they would have come back and they would have been faster by the end of the stint.

“It was a 30-lap stint so we fitted the hard tyres at the time because with a 30-lap stint we were trying to protect position on Max. It would have been too long, certainly, to [use] the soft. Our choice and our analysis that yes it would have been a difficult start to the stint but it would have come back by the end.”

Ferrari did take note of the difficulties other teams, such as Alpine, experienced after fitting the hard tyres. “Overall the tyres didn’t work,” he said. “I know that they were not working as well on other cars. But still the analysis I made was based on all the data we had.”

“The main reason is not to look into the strategy but why the car was not as good as we were hoping today. It’s the first time in the first half of the season that the car is not as competitive as we’re normally looking for.”

Carlos Sainz Jnr completed the race in the other Ferrari without using the hard tyres and fell from second to fourth. Binotto said that shows the cause of the team’s problems was more than just the decision to fit hard tyres.

“Carlos was on exactly the same strategy of Lewis [Hamilton]. He was starting ahead but finishing behind and Lewis finished 10 seconds [ahead].

“So the car today was not performing well. And if the car is not performing then it doesn’t make the tyres working as well as they should, and certainly not the hard tyres.”

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2022 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
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51 comments on “Ferrari weren’t quick enough to win in Hungary regardless of strategy – Binotto”

  1. Looks like their car was only working well on the M tyres. Leclerc said that he grained with the S tyres while Hamilton just worked with them. But rather than pitting, they should have gone longer and forced Verstappen to tyre save even more. I am sure Red Bull would be more worried with Leclerc coming at them with new S tyres rather than Sainz looking at the race at that time.

    And Binotto, can you stop thinking you are not challenging for the world championship? Your team is definitely more than capable of doing so.

  2. So, if they think they can’t win, they should do whatever they can to lose?
    First, I think they had the pace. And if not for a win, then certainly for some podium places.
    Second, he’s defending a terrible, terrible strategy call, and not the first, but only the latest in a series of terrible strategy calls.
    I’ll ask again, is the strategist his nephew? Maybe his wife’s nephew?

    1. Maybe it’s him. That’s why he believes he’s been right with every call so far. Honestly, I don’t want to get banned on this forum for using swear words. But the first head that needs to roll at Ferrari is this Muppet they call a team principal.

      1. Exactly! He will never admit the strategy used was wrong because doing so would confirm they lost a potential win.

  3. Signore Binotto – you are self delusional and represent everything that is rotten within Ferrari.
    Please do the decent thing and let someone who loves both the sport and the brand take over.
    You just love being a Team Principle for Ferrari.
    You are soiling a great team.

    1. Just a reminder that Jean Todt offered his resignation in 1999 for failing to win the title. And yes, that was the year he had to work with Irvine as lead driver because Schumacher broke his leg in Silverstone.

      Meanwhile, today’s team principal at Ferrari is telling people that they didn’t just throw away a win. Again. But they did, and they know they did. Why they feel the need to spin these tales is anyone’s guess, but people who paid even a little attention to the strategies of all drivers in today’s race knows that they messed this race up big time.

      1. If they didn’t throw away the win (verstappen looked fast indeed and when leclerc still had to pass russell verstappen was only 5 sec behind), then at least a podium or double podium.

    2. There is the old saying reminding us not to attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence. But soon some conspiratorial ideas will sound reasonable, Maybe some politics inside Ferrari (possibly nepotism), some arrangement with FIA (Ok, you will get the most money, but you cant win championships). Some mistakes are simply odd: just like FErrai doesnt know how the car can properly work, or cant project the rivals perfomance. It is almost like they are not watching the race or they fail com comprehend what the time table mean.

      1. Wow, that looks suspicious indeed, the way you said it!

  4. I don’t get Binotto. You’ll blame the car and in so doing so the aero guys and engineers who built your first championship contending car in years, but you won’t blame the strategists who consistently make the wrong decision race after race after race. Why protect one group and not the other? Why throw blame at the wrong door step? Is he watching the same championship as the rest of us?

    1. If he can’t manage people he should just focus on engineering. the stint on the hards was a complete waste of time, extra pitstop and on track losses. Nobody can argue with this.

  5. They were faster than Mercedes, and Mercedes outscored them – again.

    1. Wow!

      Leclerc was extending on an almost 6 seconds lead to Russell with tires that were 4 laps fresher when they decided to cover the guy that was 10 seconds + behind…by removing the prefered tires they had this weekend that could have last 10 laps more.

      In 20 laps Leclerc extended his lead on Sainz by a clear 7,5 seconds even if he was held black by Russell. He may well have finish the race at least 15 seconds on front of Sainz, if put on the same Strategy. And that’s exactly where Sainz finished, 15s behind Verstappen.

      Ferrari management is sadly depriving us of a close fought championship this year. What a WASTE of a magnificent car.

      1. Yes, I was shocked to see it was leclerc they brought in, I remember well the situation in that moment: verstappen was right behind sainz, who was right behind russell, was basically a drs train, so they brought in verstappen and merc called russell in, they didn’t manage to defend from the undercut, and since ferrari mechanics were out, I was expecting sainz to come in to try and cover the undercut as well, but no, it was leclerc, it was way too soon for him, like you said he had a significant margin, had noticed as well.

  6. Someone please shut this clown up.. Useless team leader always defending their useless strategy team.

  7. Pronto Arancia
    31st July 2022, 18:02

    If problems occur in a specific area, the boss addresses that area to fix the problem. If problems occur in multiple areas (mechanical failure, driver error, pit stop mistake, tactical/strategic errors, design flaw, etc.), it is the boss that must be addressed.

  8. Lies. Leclerc could have spent 15-20 laps longer on that set of medium.

  9. He can say whatever he wants, the data tells another story. Forget about Verstappen and RBR who started 10 and according to him were untouchable.

    What about Russell, Hamilton, Sainz and Perez ? How Leclerc – who was leading the race 5s ahead of Russell and was faster than all of them with better tyre wear for the entire race with the exception of Hamilton maybe on his last stint on the soft – finished the race behind them all ?

    Binotto and Allegri are way too much to be honest.

    1. Yeah, here it really was all about the strategy. It seems like either starting on the softs and then doing 2 stints on mediums or going on mediums and changing to softs towards the end was the right strategy. They got it somewhat closer with Sainz, but still jumped the gun and pitted him too early for both stops.

      With Leclerc it was good they stayed out longer, but then they changed him to the hards towards the end after we had seen how neither the McLarens nor the Alpines went anywhere on those tyres. Had they held out a few laps more there and done the exact same as Hamilton did, Leclerc should have been well ahead and Sainz would have been somewhere with him, maybe having to fight off Verstappen and Hamilton and/or Russel for the second spot.

      1. @bascb
        It seems that Ferrari pitwall have no awareness whatsoever about what’s happening around them. As you’ve mentioned the hard tyres were the wrong tyres for the race and that was clear with both Alpine and McLaren. The hard tyres this year were hard to get into the optimum working range in hotter conditions.

        Another thing is that Hamilton on the opening stint have showed that he can do 24 laps on heavy fuel. Leclerc tyre wear was better than Sainz but they panicked and decided to cover Verstappen who was doing his own race. If they can’t figure out what’s the best strategy to deploy then they should have at least copied Hamilton who is usually spot on tyre wise.

        1. It really is a combination of being annoyed at a potential title fight being thrown in the bin by this team and fascination of seeing the myriad ways Ferrari can find to do this time and again when they come up with a car and have the drivers to do it, isn’t it @tifoso1989

          They really are great at finding new ways to lose out it seems.

  10. Do they take us for idiots? Are their bosses idiots?
    OK, they might have been slower on the Soft tire, but they CHOSE to shorten their first stint, giving away at least 10 laps of very competitive lap times. They CHOSE to cover Max’s 2nd stop, because they started to lose laptime on their second set of mediums compared to the new set. Had they chosen the fastest M-S-M or M-M-S strategy with a rather short Soft stint, no-one would’ve been inside the undercut window by their second stop. Idealy they would split these strategies between Carlos and Charles. The intermediate undercut isn’t important, it’s the one at the last stop that counts… Will they never learn?

  11. They had the pace, at least with Leclerc, but only on the medium tyres. They must/should have known that from practice. So it’s no rocket science that a good strategy would be to fit those tyres for as many laps as possible. But instead of starting on softs, benefit of some extra traction off the line and maybe even some extra grip during the first laps on a slightly damp track and then get rid of them ASAP to finish the race on two sets of mediums they apparently went into the race planing a 30+ laps stint on the hards.
    That was already the wrong approach, but you could argue that being wise after the event is always easy. Nonetheless, sticking with that strategy after all other cars on hards were struggling badly is beyond my understanding…

    1. I completely agree, this is also what Charles suggested. Even if they had gone Med, Med, soft and kept going on the second stint, it would give Charles at least P3, if not P2 or the win. I am surprised they did not take temperatures into account while fitting the hards. Surely, they knew they won’t switch on in cold temps?

      This race reminded me of the season ending 2010 race, they reacted to a rival strategy and screwed alonso. Not the same but similar.

      1. @forcef1 you don’t even have to look at the temperatures, just at the Alpines: the hards were not working at all, they were being terribly slow and overtaken by Ricciardo and both Aston Martins (!!!). It’s like they’re just constantly trying to create meme material.

        1. @warheart haha, i think we have enough material for the rest of the decade, time to do some good strategy calls. But seems too much to expect from them.

          I think Lec needs to engage more on the strategy, make sure he agrees otherwise he will keep getting frustrated by the end of every race.

  12. He’s right, Carlos didn’t have the pace to win today, regardless of strategy.

    Charles did!

    1. If you consider Carlo’s pace, then the only race they were fast was Austria. Even on the race he won he managed to be slower than Verstappen, Leclerc and even Hamilton.

    2. Todt or Brawn would never let Schumacher spend a third of the race languishing behind Barrichello. On the other hand, Schumacher also wouldn’t do that to himself. So Leclerc has to take some part of the blame for sitting around and wasting time behind his (again) slower teammate.

      For whatever reason, Ferrari can’t sort out their driver management. Just give Sainz three or five laps to pass Russell, and if he doesn’t, let Leclerc by. Sort it out by the end of the race if they’re 1st/2nd or 3rd/4th whatever, but don’t just keep botrh cars trundling along while Verstappen and Hamilton are making their way up the order.

      1. Agreed.
        Lot of attention is given to Charles second pit stop but I highly suspect that Ferrari rushed Charles in for the first pit stop just to be sure he would get out ahead of Carlos.
        They probably decided to run a sub optimal strategy for Charles at this point because Carlos would have been on the way again.
        I realy like Carlos but he’s not operating at the same level as Charles.

      2. Yes, that’s true about sainz vs leclerc in overtaking russell, was pretty obvious to me: leclerc can overtake russell with some struggle, sainz won’t be able to, and indeed.

  13. This guy must go. Trying to save face and blame the car is such a coward act.

    He may be right if you look at Sainz, this guy had the whole race to pass Russell on a slower car and couldn’t make it.

    But Leclerc being 5s ahead leading halfway into the race with newer tyres finishing 6th? What’s the excuse?

  14. Ferrari have totally wasted this season through their own incompetence. The SF-75 is a championship winning car and Charles is a championship winning driver. Charles needs to throw some weight around to get a shake up in Ferrari management and strategy department. But it can’t be more of the same internal hires they seem to favor for the last couple of decades. They’ve thrown away championships with Alonso, squandered having Seb, and now are throwing away what should have been a sure thing double championship.

  15. The championship has gone for Ferrari now. Granted, they have the car and drivers to compete… but that ship has probably sailed and Ferrari’s bigger threat is Mercedes just a few points behind. Ferrari need to focus on the basics, maximising their potential without overthinking strategy or being scared into Plan Z strategies by whatever Max is doing. I’d put Mercedes as my favourites to finish second in the standings now, Ferrari should focus on them for the rest of the season rather than making another strategic blunder chasing their tail with Red Bull

  16. At this point they should replace Monza from calendar

  17. Those repeated interventions of Mattia Binotto stating that Ferrari’s strategy was optimal reminds me of Michael Masi explaining how every 2021 stewarding decision was spot on. The first step in correcting a mistake is to recognize that there is a mistake in the first place.

  18. Well they threw in the towel and that’s a shame and the backlash of it will hit hard on all of the team ( Charles and Carlos included), no one who wants to win champioships can be on a team with such errors…

  19. A few years ago there was a Premier League team where the fans had lost faith in the coach and eveytime he made a substitution they would chant you don’t know what you’re doing. I’d imagine it’s like that in the homes of the Tifosi anytime a Ferrari enters the pit lane.

    1. You said it. I shudder every time the scarlets pit, almost anticipating that they will bungle the strategy or the tire change. I’ve never been so annoyed being a Ferrari fan.

  20. If hypothetically Ferrari were slower than the Redbulls in the race they surely were not so slow that they that Leclerc drops three places whilst Verstappen gains nine.

    I wonder if a medium, soft, medium would have been best for Leclerc. He got past Russell on the medium, so would have been able to get past Russell even better on the soft. Also, it means that if you need react to Verstappen or another driver you should be able to pit and go to the end.

    1. Would find it strange to put the softs before the last stint, with more fuel on the car.

  21. Wheres Wally just needs a red nose to complete his clown costume! Ferrari are lost without intelligence.

  22. Interesting. I’m pretty sure Carlos lost a solid 10 seconds in the pitstop and Charles was quickest early on with the 2 sets of mediums. I’d be interested to know what data they had to suggest the hards were a good idea. Had they even run them in practice? Everything on race day made it clear they were a terrible idea! I must say I was surprised how little progress Leclerc made in the final stint on softs. He may well have checked out mentally by then out of frustration…

    1. True, I was surprised too that he didn’t manage to catch perez fast enough to overtake him, I mean, perez had a pretty bad race too; sorry for report comment, was accidental, would need a confirmation button, I don’t consider myself a careless person.

  23. The new anthem at Ferrari is Echo and the Bunnymen’s song Bring on the Dancing Horses. Here are some of the lyrics if you’re not familiar with the tune.
    “…Bring on the dancing horses wherever they may roam
    Shiver and say the words of every lie you’ve heard..”

  24. Luke S (@joeypropane)
    31st July 2022, 21:33

    Binotto: “We weren’t fast enough to win…. So we gave up maximum points and abandoned the podium, too”

  25. Also Binotto: Beating swill continue until morale improves.

  26. And I thought Mercedes strategist bad enough, ferrari worse

  27. Of course they were not fast enough, if you forego the fastest strategies you are by . The fastest strategies were red-yellow-yellow or yellow-yellow-red and no strategy that incorporated the hard tyre at any point even with a one stop. They could just have watched the data from Magnussens hard tyre laps to make that conclusion as his Haas is the closest car in comparison to a Ferrari. Everyone that went hard drived slowly in comparison to their previous tyre and didn’t gain by doing long stints.

  28. Sad to say this, but right now the Ferrari team looks like a bunch of amateurs that don’t deserve to be in Formula 1. They definitely have a competitive car, and very competitive drivers to challenge for the championship. If they’re not there to win it, then why race at all? At least let us fans know so we can cheer for another team.

  29. With both cars starting the race in top 3, at least one should have ended on the podium, even with pace deficit. It is utterly utterly bewildering how these people come up with the strategy. If the plan is to start on mediums, then go long – the comparative pace was not bad on the mediums. None of the early movers on hard tyres were doing anything remotely encouraging to make a switch. So why would you not extend the stint?

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