Ferrari’s performance in the Mexico City Grand Prix was less competitive than what team principal Mattia Binotto desired despite capturing 18 points and jumping ahead of McLaren in the standings.
McLaren held a 3.5-point lead over Ferrari arriving in Mexico, but the Scuderia had shown impressive pace since introducing a power unit update across the Russian and Turkish race weekends. While Lando Norris could only score a solitary point for McLaren after a power unit penalty, Charles Leclerc was fifth and Carlos Sainz sixth to put Ferrari third in the constructors’ championship. However, Binotto was hoping for more.
“I think we were hoping for a better weekend in terms of performance, but overall as a team result, it has been a great team result,” Binotto said. “The two drivers collaborated well. In terms of team strategy, we tried whatever we could to catch (Pierre) Gasly, but we couldn’t. And finally, 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. But at the moment, at least we are third with 13.5 points, which are not unreachable. 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.”
Expanding on what he was hoping for in terms of competitiveness, Binotto hadn’t been expecting such a big gap to Red Bull and Mercedes, let alone to be beaten by Gasly.
“If I look at the last races, I think we had a pace which was a lot closer to the top teams,” Binotto said. “And for a while, it was somehow nine-tenths a second. So I think in terms of the relative gap to the top cars, 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.
“So we struggled a bit on performance in qualy, we struggled a bit as well (in the race) 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 we could have finished, or at least I was hoping to finish ahead of the AlphaTauri and closer to the best.”