Leclerc was leading Sunday’s grand prix at Silverstone ahead of Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz and appeared on course for a potential victory when a late Safety Car influenced the final result. 

Ferrari faced question marks over their strategy and handling of the race after opting to keep Leclerc out and instead pit Sainz for soft tyres under the Safety Car. 

The decision left Leclerc a sitting duck at the restart. He was almost immediately passed by Sainz when the race resumed, and eventually dropped to fourth after being overtaken by both Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages. 

Leclerc and Binotto were seen chatting after the race in parc ferme, with Binotto appearing to finger-wag his driver. But the Ferrari chief explained that he was just trying to console Leclerc. 

“First, I knew that he was disappointed and frustrated, which is understandable because he was leading clearly the race and he was comfortable going very fast when the Safety Car came out,” Binotto said. 

“I think for him it was a great opportunity in terms of championship because he was leading while Max had some problems. Then the Safety Car came out, he had a difficult end to the race, and no doubt he was disappointed. 

“So when I met him, I knew he was disappointed and what I told him was that he did a fantastic race, once again, because he did a fantastic first lap of the race battling. 

"And then after the Safety Car restart the way he was driving and protecting position was amazing and outstanding. So I told him simply to stay calm, because the way he drove was fantastic. 

“He has once again been unlucky today with the Safety Car coming out a few laps from the end when he was leading was somehow bad luck overall and that is the reason he should not be too disappointed and stay calm.” 

‘High frustration’ for Leclerc 

Speaking about his post-race exchange with Binotto, Leclerc insisted his boss simply “wanted to cheer me up” after a disappointing result. 

The Monegasque also said he wants a full explanation of the thinking behind Ferrari’s strategy calls. 

“From the outside, until you get all the full details of one decision, it’s very difficult to comment,” Leclerc said. 

“Of course the frustration is high, because the end result is that my race has been very difficult after that. I was just trying to do my best to keep the cars behind but obviously on a new soft and a used hard, it’s quite a big difference.

“It was fun, the last half of the race was very, very tricky, on the limit everywhere, but that’s what I had to do to try and keep the positions, and I don’t think I could have done much better. 

“I’ll just analyse with the team to understand if there’s anything we could have done better there.”

Asked how concerning it was for his title hopes that Ferrari keep making errors, Leclerc replied: “It’s not good. I have to say that I feel like I'm showing that every race it's not affecting me too much. But I would rather not have these problems.”