Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto says that the Italian squad’s car performance was more of a problem at the Hungarian Grand Prix than its strategy calls.
The team came under scrutiny once more in Budapest, with Charles Leclerc switching to the Hard compound tyre at his second pit stop.
As the Monegasque driver began the race on the Mediums and used a fresh set of the yellow-walled compound at his first stop, he needed to use one of the other available compounds during the race to satisfy the regulations.
However, the Hard compound lacked performance and Leclerc was overtaken by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen for the net race lead, before he was then passed by Mercedes’ George Russell.
Ferrari pitted Leclerc for a third time for Soft tyres, which dropped him to sixth place at the chequered flag.
It marked yet another occasion this season that a strategy decision from Ferrari has been questioned.
“I think we were all expecting a different result today,” Binotto told Sky Italia.
“Today the car was not performing the way we were expecting it to, and that was the issue more than the strategy. Carlos’ strategy was the same as Hamilton’s and it didn’t work either.”
Sainz came home in fourth place, as Mercedes captured its second successive double-podium finish.
Binotto claims that Ferrari was forced into a defensive strategy as the pace of its car was lacking compared to its rivals.
“The performance of the car did not give us the freedom to do what we wanted and we were forced on the defensive,” he said.
“The pace was different from what we saw on Friday, we were not fast enough in the race today in these conditions. Something did not work on the car.
“We did notice that Charles was faster than Carlos – like Hamilton was faster than Russell – but as we saw, Hamilton’s strategy did not work for Carlos either. Then of course we need to analyse if it would have worked for Charles. The biggest problem today was the car.”