Ferrari: Mexico track a boost in F1 battle with McLaren

Ferrari is hopeful that the high altitude of Mexico will give it even more of an edge over McLaren in their Formula 1 constructors' championship fight.

The Maranello-based team is just three-and-a-half points behind McLaren in the battle for third sport behind Mercedes and Red Bull with five races to go.

And, with a recent engine upgrade having lifted its performance, the team is increasingly bullish about its prospects for the remainder of the campaign.

At the United States Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc finished a strong fourth, almost 25 seconds clear of the lead McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo.

That performance was especially important because the Austin layout, with its high-speed corners and long straights, is not one that should have especially favoured the Italian squad.

And it is why Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto thinks that the unique nature of Mexico, where teams run with maximum wing, could be an even better hunting ground.

"In Mexico, we are running there with maximum downforce performance, and it is a track where power sensitivity is less important," he said.

"So although there is still a gap to Mercedes [in power terms], I think the Mexico track will be in our favour compared to what we saw in Austin."

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Binotto reckoned that the fact that Ferrari was faster than McLaren in Austin was significant, because it was a venue that should have played to the strengths of McLaren.

"Generally speaking, this year the McLaren has been always very competitive with the medium/high speed corners, and again it was the case in Austin," he said.

"But I think if I look at the overall performance of the weekend, we were ahead of them: which was very obvious in qualifying, and Charles [in the race] was half a second on average ahead of Ricciardo, finishing 25 seconds ahead of him.

"In the overall balance of the lap. I think we have been clearly faster and, I think on paper, it was not a circuit which was suiting obviously our car.

"That's why I'm pleased with the progress I've seen in the last races, and certainly the help of the power unit, both for quali and the race. That gives me some confidence for the next races."

shares
comments

Related video

Why 'young Montoya' O'Ward has an eye on F1
Previous article

Why 'young Montoya' O'Ward has an eye on F1

Next article

F1 begins research on wet weather racing solution

F1 begins research on wet weather racing solution
Load comments
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Prime

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Motorsport.com heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Prime

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022