epa10100346 Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco changes tires during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at the Hungaroring circuit in Mogyorod, near Budapest, Hungary, 31 July 2022. EPA/Zsolt Czegledi HUNGARY OUT

Fiorio: Something is wrong at Ferrari, too many mistakes

epa10100346 Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco changes tires during the Formula One Grand Prix of Hungary at the Hungaroring circuit in Mogyorod, near Budapest, Hungary, 31 July 2022. EPA/Zsolt Czegledi HUNGARY OUT

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto became the laughing stock of the Formula 1 paddock after he denied wrongdoing by his team, on a weekend Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz might have scored a one-two in Hungary last month.

Because of the obvious fumbles, not only in Hungary when victory went begging but also in other races, means Leclerc trails Max Verstappen by 80-points after 13 rounds of the 2022 F1 World Championship; the Ferrari driver led by 27 after the first four races.

In the wake of going bonkers in Budapest, it was easy to ask and many did: Are Ferrari strategists and pitwall gifting the 2022 F1 titles to Max and Red Bull?

Not so if you asked Binotto who rather blamed the car, the brilliant F1-75 which has had title-winning potential from day one when the actual culprits were their ‘butter-fingers’ when it came to strategy and pitstops.

But Binotto’s one-sided excuses, clearly intended to keep the staff at Maranello protected, are starting to wear thin among pundits beyond Italy where the mass media have been surprisingly quiet on the Ferrari shenanigans.

Is Binotto capable of leading Ferrari alone? Where are his bosses in these times?

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 29: Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner talks with Scuderia Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto on the grid ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 29, 2022 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Among those critical of Ferrari’s current state, is Jacques Villeneuve who told Sky Italia, after Hungary: “A thing that surprised me was the decisions made by the teams.

“F1 is the premier class, everything is of a high standard. Not only the drivers but also the mechanics, engineers and strategists. How can teams, not only Ferrari, make the decision to go for the hard tire? Even after Alpine proved it was a lousy tire.

“Are they watching the race? Something went terribly wrong in this case. It is incomprehensible that such a thing happens in a sport where there is only room for the best of the best,” who after the France fumble defined Ferarri’s performance as “the best example of how you don’t win a championship.”

Former Ferrari team boss Cesare Fiorio, a respected F1 observer in Italy, told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “We must admit that this year Mattia Binotto has turned Ferrari into a team capable of winning every race.

“Binotto is a great engineer, first as an engine specialist, then as a technical director, but his job today is very different to that. And as a result, something is wrong at Ferrari, too many mistakes are being made. Binotto has to go all the way, this is his biggest challenge right now.

“He has to find solutions to make the team work better,” insisted Fiorio.

Surer: Someone from the very top should be asking what are they actually doing?

Swiss pundit, former F1 driver Marc Surer goes a step further demanding at Ferrari “the strategists should be fired” pointing to own goals in Hungary, before the Leclerc error in France; lack of reliability in Baku and Barcelona coupled with dubious pitwall calls by Ferrari at Monaco and Silverstone.

“You can only shake your head that they just keep making wrong decisions,” Surer told Formel1.de “How you can they get it so wrong, it’s unbelievable. Someone from the very top should actually say something: What are they actually doing? We have the fastest car in the field!”

Ferrari’s losing streak is being treated with kid gloves by Italian media as Binotto appears unaccountable amid the apparent absence of input from big boss John Elkann, suggesting fear or disinterest for F1 from the Agnelli scion.

In Germany, motorsport legend Hans-Joachim Stuck fired up a conspiracy looking back on Leclerc’s crash in France: “For me, however, another thing is still a mystery: “Charles Leclerc’s exit at Le Castellet. If you look at the accident a hundred times: there was no oversteer…

“I can imagine he was instructed by the team to claim he made a mistake even though there real problem was with the car. I wouldn’t rule it out.”

Stuck: I don’t know how long Ferrari will continue to rely on Binotto

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP), Scuderia Ferrari and Charles Leclerc (FRA), Scuderia Ferrari 31.07.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 13, Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest, Hungary, Race Day. - www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Charniaux / XPB Images

The truth is, and no one denies it, finally, Ferrari under Binotto’s watch have built a F1 title-winning car in the F1-75 which should be expected for a team led by an engineer, however as is being proven, that’s only half the job.

For the rest, pitstops, strategy, psychology and all that goes into the making of a perfect race weekend for a team wanting to win every time out, Ferrari need only look as far as their rivals Red Bull to see how meticulous Verstappen’s team is in their quest for victory.

Anything less from Ferrari will simply mean a cruise for Max to his second successive F1 world title, with a big thanks due from Red Bull to Binotto’s stumbling team for making it so easy.