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Binotto stopped watching Austrian GP amid Leclerc's problems

Mattia Binotto admitted that he did not watch the nervy final laps of the Austrian Grand Prix after learning about Charles Leclerc's car issue.

Mattia Binotto says he could not watch the end of the Austrian Grand Prix as Charles Leclerc battled technical problems. In the closing laps of the race, Leclerc's car developed a throttle-related issue which, at the very least, disrupted his consistency. Leclerc took the win by less than two seconds ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen, after the Dutchman edged closer as the race drew to a close. When asked by Sky Sports F1 about the Ferrari's issue, Team Principal Binotto conceded that he had to take his eyes off the action. "Honestly, I don't know," Binotto said of the drama, which followed Carlos Sainz's engine failure. "I heard about it, we looked at the data, but we need to wait for the car to come back and see if it was a mechanical problem or not. I stopped watching the race at that point."

A crucial win for Leclerc and Ferrari

Binotto highlighted the importance of the victory following Leclerc's recent run of misfortune. "I'm certainly very happy because now it's two wins in a row, in Silverstone and here in Austria," he continued. "It was important for us to recover. It was important for us to come back after a few races where we're not winning, but had the potential to win. "It was a bit disappointing to have the failure on Carlos' car because it could have been even better Sunday."

Binotto explains how tyre tactics toppled Red Bull

Starting behind Verstappen, it became clear in the opening stages that the Ferrari driver had more pace than the Red Bull, with Verstappen seemingly struggling with tyre wear. Leclerc took advantage and passed for the lead in the opening stint, and Binotto confirmed that their tactic was to pressure the Red Bull driver into wearing his tyres out too much. "It's difficult for me to judge what the others are doing," he said. "We looked at all our data yesterday during the Sprint and we tried to have the right balance for today on the car to manage the tyres, and we decided how to manage the tyres. "The drivers did a fantastic job. They put pressure on Max at the start of the race, which I think was the difference compared to yesterday in the Sprint. "We decided that the best was to try to keep pressure on him and make him go faster and get him to wear down his own tyres, and I think it worked well."

RESULTS 2024 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix - Free Practice 2