Ferrari had to turn its power unit down during the Mexico City Grand Prix weekend but doesn’t believe that accounts for how far off the pace it was.
Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc finished fifth and sixth respectively, a minute behind race-winner Max Verstappen. More notably, Valtteri Bottas – in an Alfa Romeo using the same power unit – was able to split the pair in qualifying despite Ferrari regularly being the quickest car on a Saturday, and team principal Mattia Binotto says there are unanswered questions when it comes to the lack of performance.
“It has certainly been a very difficult weekend,” Binotto said. “It already was in qualifying being quite far behind pole position when normally in qualifying we are quite competitive. And in the race I think it simply emphasized the fact that we are not comfortable with the track this weekend.
“Our overall performance has not been great, no doubt. We were off the pace in the race. I think the compromises that both of them have been mentioning, certainly in terms of power unit we were not at our best performance for the weekend, but I don’t think that’s explaining most of it.
“That’s part of the equation but there is more than that, there is certainly more than that. It’s something we need to look at and there is not a clear answer right now.
“The ride was not great, the balance was not great, I’m pretty sure the drivers will tell me the car was not turning, and the reasons why I think needs to be looked at and we don’t have a clear explanation right now.”
While the likes of Mercedes thought Mexico would suit its car and give it a more competitive weekend, Binotto says Ferrari had no such predictions that it would struggle and was caught out as track running unfolded.
“No, I don’t think we knew that it was going to be so difficult. Honestly, even after FP1 we didn’t realize it either, it was only later in the weekend that we found out that the performance was not great. Maybe FP2 and the tire test didn’t help us to address the weaknesses and the car set-up but I think overall we didn’t do a great job and the car balance was not suiting us.
“We were not expecting it, we hoped we could certainly have been a lot better and maybe competitive but it has not been the case. Already in Spa it has been very similar where we were very slow, that was standing out in terms of bad pace, and here as well it’s very similar. Something we need to look at and try to react for the last two races.”