Ferrari chief Mattia Binotto says the Hungarian Grand Prix exposed the weaknesses of the team’s 2019 Formula 1 car.

The Italian squad heads into F1’s summer break having failed to record a victory in the opening 12 races in what has proved to be a difficult start to the 2019 season.

Ferrari expected to struggle around the tight and twisty Hungaroring, a circuit which rewards a car that boasts strong downforce through slow-speed corners - an area Ferrari is currently trailing its rivals in.

Sebastian Vettel claimed third place ahead of teammate Charles Leclerc in a subdued race for Ferrari, with both drivers finishing over a minute adrift of race-winner Lewis Hamilton.

“I think what we should try to explain is not the minute [gap] today but how is it possible that maybe a week ago [in Germany] we have the fastest car, and today we are somehow not the fastest,” Binotto said.

“Here, as we often say, is very track dependent. We know that our car is somehow lacking maximum downforce and when you are somehow on a circuit like Budapest where maximum downforce is required, then we are certainly suffering.

“You are suffering even more in the race compared to the quali, because in the single lap of the quali eventually the grip of the tyres is coping with the lack of downforce it may have, but over a long distance you are sliding, overheating the tyres and things are certainly more complicated.”

Binotto feels the summer break comes at the right time for his side after spending “a lot of energy” in the first half of the season trying to understand its deficits to Mercedes and Red Bull.

"Next week we will be back in the office and there is still much to do before we are on the summer break but I think it’s important for us to stop and rest a bit,” he added.

“We spent a lot of energy on this initial start of the season, after the winter testing and Australia, when we recognised that we got some gap to close on our main competitors.

“We spent really in all the departments back in the factory and at the race track a lot of energy so it’s the right time to have some holidays.”

Vettel rejected the notion that the gap had been exaggerated by the intense duel between race-leaders Max Verstappen and Hamilton.

He said: “I think they were pushing flat-out and we were pushing flat-out, so I don’t think they were able to get another second just because they enjoyed themselves, I don’t think so.”



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