Mattia Binotto denies ‘changes are needed’ at Ferrari as he faces axe

Charles Leclerc lost the win in Budapest due to another strategic mistake from Ferrari.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto has advised against overreacting despite another nightmare race at last weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc had been leading the way in Budapest after passing polesitter George Russell, and looked set to execute a two-stop having pitted for Mediums later than those around him.

Max Verstappen had made his way up from 10th on the grid to fourth after he suffered power difficulties in qualifying, and he cleared Sir Lewis Hamilton in the pits after he was forced to start seventh due to DRS issues in qualifying.

Verstappen stopped early for another set of Medium to go to the end of the race, but he did not appear to be a threat to Leclerc, who had plenty of longevity in his tyres, and could pit onto the Softs towards the end having started on Mediums.

READ: Ferrari exceed analysts’ expectations as they record eyewatering Q2 profit

However, the Scuderia made the bizarre call to bring him in for Hards, responding to a threat from Verstappen that did not really seem to exist, but it certainly did once the Monegasque was on cold, hard rubber.

Verstappen passed Leclerc, before spinning and passing him again, exemplifying his superior pace on Sunday.

Russell would also find his way back past his fellow 24-year-old when he made his second stop onto Mediums, and Ferrari eventually realised that their driver was losing too much time, so boxed him again for Softs.

He was then unable to catch Sergio Perez, so was forced to settle for P6, as Carlos Sainz ended the race fourth after Ferrari stuck with his original strategy.

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However, the race pace of the Ferrari seemed to waver compared to the Mercedes, as Hamilton passed him for P3, before then making a move for P2 on Russell.

The Spaniard was unable to catch and pass Russell throughout the afternoon in what was an incredibly frustrating day for Ferrari, but Binotto insists that there is no need for any major changes for his team amid yet more strategic errors.

“It’s not a matter of bad luck and there’s nothing to change as well,” the Italian told

“I think it’s always a matter of continuous learning, building experience and building skills.

“Certainly there is something in which we need to look at and to understand why [we lost the race].”

Generally Ferrari are in a much better place now than they were last season when they were still a considerable margin off the pace of Red Bull and Mercedes.

With that perspective added to the equation, there should be a lot of optimism around Maranello now that they have a competitive package.

“If I look again at the balance of the first half of the season, there is no reason why we should change [anything],” explained Binotto.

“I think we simply need to address what was wrong; that we need first to understand and then to address and try to be back [to being] competitive.

“It [the car] has been [competitive] in 12 races so far, and [there’s] no reason why it will not be the case at the next.”

READ: Charles Leclerc insists he’s not ‘hiding’ from his mistakes

Verstappen took victory by nearly 10 seconds from Hamilton in Budapest as he opened out an 80-point lead over Leclerc in the Drivers’ Standings.

Red Bull, meanwhile, lead Ferrari by 97 points in the team’ fight heading into the summer break.

*Hi James, could you put your name on this one please? 🙂