The Italian led both world championships after the third race in Australia but now trails Red Bull by 97 points in the constructors’ standings, while Charles Leclerc is 80 points down on Max Verstappen in the drivers’ championship. 

Ferrari’s downfall has been accelerated by reliability failures, a catalogue of strategic blunders and unforced errors from Leclerc. 

The most recent example came at the Hungarian Grand Prix, where Ferrari seemingly threw away a victory with a questionable strategy call that dropped Leclerc from the lead to sixth, and opened the door for Verstappen to claim an unlikely win from 10th on the grid. 

But Binotto remained defiant as he shut down suggestions that change is needed at Ferrari. 

"It's not a matter of bad luck, and there is nothing to change as well," Binotto said after the Hungarian Grand Prix. 

"It's always a matter of continuous learning and building, building experience, building skills.

"Certainly there is something that you need to look at and understand why. But if I look again at the balance of the first half of the season, there is no reason why we should change.

"I think we simply need to address what was wrong today, we need to understand, and then to address and get back competitive at the 12 races so far [before Hungary] and the reason why it could not be the case at the next one.” 

Binotto predicts Leclerc response 

After three races, Leclerc held a 46-point advantage over Verstappen and it looked like his title to lose. The Monegasque’s title hopes have faded in dramatic fashion since, leaving him with a mountain to climb if he is to clinch a maiden world championship this year. 

Leclerc’s engine failed twice while he was leading and he was subsequently forced to start from the back in Canada due to using too many power unit components. He has also been let down by Ferrari’s decision-making, most notably in Monaco, at Silverstone and in Hungary.

But some of Leclerc’s pain has been self-inflicted. He spun while hunting down Sergio Perez for second place at Imola and ended up finishing sixth, before crashing out of the lead in France. 

Binotto has backed Leclerc to respond heading into the final nine races of the season after F1’s summer break, starting with the Belgian Grand Prix on August 28.

"As a leader as he is [key] to continue building, building for the team and building for himself step by step, and I think to look at each single race as an opportunity to win," Binotto said.

"We are winning and losing altogether. Today it has not been a great one but I think there is still much potential and a lot of potential.

"We need to focus first to understand the reasons of today, address them, and come back even stronger."