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Binotto defends Ferrari team members: I fully support and trust them

Mattia Binotto has backed Ferrari's team members after an error-plagued first half of the Formula 1 season – declaring he supports and trusts them.

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto has defended his under-fire Formula 1 team members after a mixed first half of the 2022 season. The Scuderia built a competitive car for the all-new technical regulations in 2022, but they are lagging behind Red Bull as an operationally slick squad. In the final round before the summer break in Hungary, Ferrari's strategists put Charles Leclerc on the Hard tyre with just under half the race remaining – despite it not being a favoured strategy, with Pirelli even advising against using it. Leclerc could not find pace on the compound, and slipped from podium contention to a lowly sixth, after being hauled in for Softs to abandon the strategy. That cost him a further 17 points to World Champion and title rival Max Verstappen, leaving the Monegasque 80 adrift.

Binotto leaps to Ferrari's defence after Hungarian GP

Binotto has been at the Ferrari helm since 2019, when Maurizio Arrivabene was relieved of his duties, and has led the team back to victory contention following a dire '20 season when they slumped to sixth in the Constructors' standings. Despite the repeated blunders that have plagued Ferrari, Binotto was staunch in his defence for his team. "I'm looking at the overall balance of the season, and we made the right strategy in France (where Leclerc crashed from the lead), we got it right in Austria, as in many times we made it right," he told Sky Sports F1 . "Sometimes you make a mistake, some[times] the others are doing mistakes; maybe we are not on the line so much. "It's not only Inaki [Rueda, Ferrari chief strategist], [but] the entire team is great. "I am fully supporting them, because I trust them."

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Beyond their strategy calls, Binotto told media, including RacingNews365.com , that Ferrari need to understand a general lack of pace in race trim at the Hungaroring. "I think it's important to say that we believe the car was not working as expected, and we didn't have the speed we were hoping for looking back on Friday, and the pace we had on the race simulations," he explained. "The overall speed [in the race] was was not good enough and, whatever tyres we were using, I don't think that we were as good as we were looking for. "Our analysis was that it would have been a difficult stint [for Leclerc on the Hard tyres], but we would have come back by the end – but the tyres didn't work. "I know that [the tyres] were not working as well on other cars. Still, the analysis was based on all the data we had, but I think that as I said before, the main reason is not to look into the strategy, but why the car was not as good as we were hoping [for]. "The car was [for] the first time in the first half of the season not as competitive as we're normally looking for."

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