Ferrari: “We lost control”
Ferrari finished the Mexican GP with a good result: Charles Leclerc finished third and Carlos Sainz, fourth.
Thus, the Italians maintain 22 points distance from Mercedes in the Constructors’ World Championship. However, team manager Fred Vasseur acknowledged having a bittersweet taste after the weekend at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
On Saturday, the red cars gave the surprise in qualifying, getting the first row of the grid for Sunday. It was the first time they had put both cars there this season and, although I didn’t really understand how they had done it, expectations for the race were high.
The drivers did not make a good start, which allowed everyone to follow us. The Monégasque started from pole position and the Madrid native at his side. When the traffic light went out, the first one was involved in a battle with the two Red Bulls that ended with Verstappen in the lead and Checo Pérez out of the Grand Prix. Meanwhile, Sainz lost one position at the start, which would have been two if the Mexican’s test had not been cut short.
The output, tires and cooling
In the first meters, Vasseur sees the first mistake of the Grand Prix. “First of all, the start: the drivers didn’t make a good start, which allowed everyone to follow us. There we lost control of the car,” he told Sky Sports. He clarifies that, yes, that he speaks of the first meters before reaching the curve in which the collision between Leclerc and Pérez occurred:” Well, I am referring to the position on the straight. This put Carlos and Charles in a difficult situation “. We went well on medium tires, but it was difficult to restart on hard ones.
The next thing has to do with the pace, conditioned once again by the tires. Mercedes’ bet on the medium compound after the second start, after Magnussen’s accident, was correct and lifted it ahead of the two Ferraris. Vasseur also referred to this, recognizing that those who were ahead of his drivers were doing better, although he leaves a note.
“They had better pace, Max for sure, but Lewis I’m not sure because in the first stint we were fast, at least with Charles. We went well with medium tires, but the difference was related to the problem we had. It was difficult to restart with hard tires. “We were surprised that Hamilton managed to do so many laps on medium tyres,” he explains. Another of the key points of the Mexico race was the cooling of the cars. Not so much about the tires, but taking care of the engine and brakes came into play. “Cooling has been key, especially Mercedes with the brakes, and we have taken care of the engine, but we have all had to take care of it. When you are behind, you suffer a little more,” he indicated.
All in all, the Ferrari team boss remains with the positive side: “We have to remember the double in qualifying and the pace at the beginning. ” They will try to use that as a boost for the last three races remaining this season.