Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto believes there's no reason why his team can't win the remaining ten rounds of the 2022 Formula 1 world championship and wrestle the title from its rival Red Bull.
Charles Leclerc's exit from last weekend's French Grand Prix following a driver error while leading the race handed Red Bull and Max Verstappen an easy win.
The Dutchman will head into the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend with a massive 63-point lead over Leclerc that will be the reigning world champion's to squander between now and Abu Dhabi in late November.
But Ferrari aren't conceding defeat, claiming that the pace displayed by its F1-75 this season in the hands of its talented pair of drivers will allow it to contend for a win at every remaining round.
"What we are focused on is trying to go at every single race and get the maximum results from it," Binotto said last weekend. "And it didn’t happen here in Paul Ricard.
"But again, I think we’re already focused on Hungary going there for a 1-2, and I think every single race counts [just as much] as the others and at the end of the season we will do the sum and let’s see where we are.
"And I think what’s more important is seeing that once again we had a good package, there is no reason why not to win 10 races from now to the end."
Many will be tempted to dismiss Binotto's bold assumption as a quixotic case of self-persuasion, and in a sense it is. But what the Scuderia chief is implying is that a winning ambition starts with the belief that one can get the job done, while everything can also change.
"I think that the way to look at it is positively and I like to be positive and stay optimistic," Binotto added.
"Could something happen to Max and to Red Bull? It’s already happened to them as it happened to us.
"Maybe it happens again, but I’m not counting on it. I think we need to be focused on ourselves and do the best we can."
But making the most of the potential at Ferrari's disposal rules out avoidable errors and mistakes, the likes of which have cost the Scuderia dearly this season.
Two direct faults this year – at Imola and at Paul Ricard – have led to questions over Leclerc's ability to uphold a consistent title challenge for the duration of a campaign.
But Binotto remains convinced that the Monegasque can improve, deliver the goods and win the title.
"I’m pretty sure he will learn," said Binotto. "We have always seen that Charles is reacting very strongly and well to when he’s doing mistakes.
"I’m sure that he will be back in Hungary stronger and hungry."
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