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Binotto concedes Ferrari 'certainly have to make changes'

Mattia Binotto has admitted that changes have to be made at Ferrari amid their dwindling efforts to fight for the championships.

Mattia Binotto has conceded that Ferrari have to make some changes if they are to make a stronger bid for championships in 2023. Despite frequently matching or beating Red Bull for pace, Ferrari have been unable to mount a lasting challenge to either the Drivers' or Constructors' Championship this season. Ferrari's lead driver Charles Leclerc trails Red Bull's Max Verstappen in the drivers' standings by 116 points, whilst Ferrari are 139 points adrift of Red Bull in the constructors' table. On top of reliability issues and driver errors, Ferrari have frequently been questioned for their tactical and operational decisions during Grands Prix. Most recently, their decision to switch Leclerc from a one-stop to a two-stop strategy at the Italian GP was criticised by some fans and pundits, although some defended the gamble, believing Ferrari were unlikely to win the race anyway.

Binotto: 'Changes are necessary'

There were more strategic issues for Leclerc in Hungary when, seemingly going against the on-track evidence, they made a switch to the Hard-compound tyres, struggled for pace, and fell away from the podium places. Similarly at the Belgian GP, Ferrari pitted Leclerc for fresh Soft tyres to challenge for the fastest lap, but the fine margins of this call put Leclerc behind Alpine's Fernando Alonso and triggered a pit lane speeding offence and a time penalty. Unsurprisingly, Ferrari Team Principal Binotto had been defensive of his team, but admitted in a recent interview that changes may be required, but not necessarily to individuals. "We don't have to change people, but we certainly have to change some things," Binotto admitted to Sky F1 . "The way we communicate, the way we make our decisions ... changes are necessary. "It might be necessary to add value and maybe adding people. But changing people is not a way I want to go, it's an old way of tackling problems."

Mistakes have opened door to 'painful' Mercedes defeat

Such has been their lack of race-day efficiency, Ferrari are at risk of falling behind Mercedes in the standings, who have become ruthless point-scorers in 2022. Despite being off the pace of Ferrari and Red Bull, Mercedes have had remarkable reliability, and have frequently claimed podiums following race-day misfortunes to the top two teams. With Mercedes just 35 points behind Ferrari, Binotto was asked what his reaction would be if his team finished third in the standings this season. "It will be painful," admitted Binotto. "For the result and for the way we started the season, I think it will prove that we didn't improve the car well enough during the season. "And it shows that there have been too many mistakes. "But we are in front, and our intention is to stay in front."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix - Free Practice 2