Ferrari hoped for "better weekend" in Mexico despite retaking third

Mattia Binotto says Ferrari wanted “a better weekend” in Mexico despite reclaiming third in the championship, having failed to pose a threat to Formula 1 frontrunners Red Bull and Mercedes.

Ferrari hoped for "better weekend" in Mexico despite retaking third

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr finished fifth and sixth respectively on Sunday in Mexico, lifting Ferrari above McLaren into third place in the constructors’ championship by 13.5 points.

Ferrari had trailed in the fight since McLaren’s 1-2 finish at Monza in September, but outscored its rival at each of the last three races to turn the battle around.

However team principal Binotto admitted after the race that Ferrari had expected to perform better in Mexico, having failed to challenge either Red Bull or Mercedes, as well as losing out to AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly in the fight for fourth.

Insight: 10 things we learned from F1's 2021 Mexican Grand Prix

“We were hoping for a better weekend in terms of performance, but overall I think as a team result, it has been a great team result today,” Binotto said after the race in Mexico.

“The two drivers collaborated well. In terms of team strategy, we tried whatever we could to catch Gasly, but we couldn’t.

“In terms of points and championship, we are in third position now, 13.5 points ahead of McLaren, four races to go. So I think it’s still a very tight battle.

“Certainly McLaren struggled as well the last weekend. Let’s see now in Brazil in a week’s time. Hopefully we may consolidate what we have seen today.”

The high-altitude conditions in Mexico meant teams had to run their high downforce aerodynamic packages, an area in which Ferrari has excelled so far this season, scoring pole in Monaco.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

But Binotto felt the gap to Red Bull and Mercedes had in fact grown over the weekend compared to recent races.

“If I look at the last races, I think we had a pace which was a lot closer to the top teams,” Binotto said.

“For a while today, it was nine-tenths of a second. So I think in terms of the relative gap to the top cars, today we are a bit behind.

“Honestly I was hoping coming to Mexico, where we know somehow as well the power unit counts less, because it’s a circuit that is less power sensitive, to have a better overall relative performance, which has not been the case.

“We struggled a bit on performance in qualy, we struggled a bit as well today compared to the best cars. And I think the fact that Gasly has been ahead of us is another sign.

“Certainly he did very well, so well done to Gasly and AlphaTauri. But I think that today we could have finished, or at least I was hoping to finish ahead of the AlphaTauri and closer to the best.”

Leclerc and Sainz were surprised to see Gasly and AlphaTauri perform so strongly, having failed to keep up with the Frenchman despite attempts to split strategies and use team orders.

“In qualifying and in the race, actually AlphaTauri I think has been better than what we expected them to be,” Leclerc said.

The Ferrari team on the pit wall

The Ferrari team on the pit wall

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“Compared to the others in the race I will say the hard stint has been has been more difficult than what we expected it to be too. But otherwise it was all the rest was in line with what we expected.”

Sainz added: “On Thursday I wanted to be clear that since Monaco, a lot of things have changed, particularly the top teams have developed a lot the car.

“You can see how Mercedes and Red Bull, they have a bigger gap now than what they had at the beginning of the season in a lot of tracks to us.

“The biggest surprise was probably AlphaTauri, that they were as quick as us, maybe a tenth quicker the the whole weekend. They had a bit the edge.

“But in terms of our performance to the leaders, they had more or less the gap they had in the last few races, and this track just exposed where we are lacking a bit.

“But in general, a positive weekend.”

shares
comments

Related video

Hamilton fears he "will be in trouble" if Red Bull form continues
Previous article

Hamilton fears he "will be in trouble" if Red Bull form continues

Next article

Why Red Bull's Mexico victory underlined a time-tested Newey strength

Why Red Bull's Mexico victory underlined a time-tested Newey strength
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats Plus

How Verstappen's record-breaking 2022 season compares to the F1 greats

The 2022 Formula 1 season will be remembered as a record book rewriting Max Verstappen masterclass, a completely different challenge to his maiden world championship last year, and a clear sign he is still raising his own level. But where does it stack up against the all-time great F1 campaigns?

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2022 Formula 1 season came to a close at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the battle for second in the standings was decided, the wins in a season record extended and a retiring four-time world champion bowed out on a high. Here's how we rated the drivers

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022
The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph Plus

The factors that stopped Perez catching Leclerc in Verstappen's Abu Dhabi triumph

Max Verstappen ended the 2022 Formula 1 season in fitting fashion with a dominant drive to victory in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But behind him, early season rival Charles Leclerc achieved his target of securing the runner-up spot with a well-executed a one-stop strategy to beat Sergio Perez, whose pursuit on a two-stop strategy was hampered by several critical factors

Formula 1
Nov 21, 2022