Mattia Binotto believes that, regardless of tyre difficulties, Ferrari didn't have the pace to take victory at the Hungarian GP.
Ferrari were once again subject to scrutiny after failing to take the win at the Hungaroring, despite leading prior to the final pit stops.
In the opening stints of the race, Ferrari's championship challenger Leclerc managed to overtake teammate Carlos Sainz during the pit stops, and pass Mercedes' George Russell for the lead.
However, Leclerc's advantage was undone when Red Bull's Max Verstappen attempted to undercut the leaders by making his final pit stop first.
Ferrari reacted by pitting Leclerc for hard tyres, but the Monegasque driver struggled for tyre temperatures and surrendered the lead to Verstappen.
Leclerc's problems worsened when he was passed by Russell and Sainz, prompting Ferrari to abandon their hard tyre plan before the end of the race, with Leclerc finishing in sixth.
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Binotto: Performance analysis will answer tyre issues
Prior to the final stop, Leclerc's pace suggested that he was comfortable in the lead, with Verstappen only becoming a factor when he made an early final stop.
Ferrari Team Principal Binotto was asked if Ferrari had the fundamental pace to keep up their challenge for victory, despite the tyre concerns.
"I don't think so," Binotto told media, including RacingNews365.com.
"What we were lacking was really speed and pace, and I don't think we could have won today.
"I don't know the reasons for this, because it's first time in many races that we didn't have the speed to be there for the victory.
"So we need to look into that performance to understand. I'm pretty sure that when we understand that, we will also understand why the tyres were not working properly."
F1 Podcast: Did Ferrari snatch defeat from the jaws of victory once again?
RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the key topics from the Hungarian Grand Prix, including Ferrari's botched tyre strategy for Charles Leclerc.