Carlos Sainz had a solid 2021 Mexico City GP, as he outqualified his highly rated teammate, and then raced to an eventual sixth in what he called one of his best races this season.
Sainz was disadvantaged by the first lap chaos, as he lost places trying to avoid contact, ended up being behind Charles Leclerc, and feels that he was unlucky in that regards.
The Spaniard reflected in his race in Ferrari’s press release, and said: “It was one of my best races this season in terms of pace, as I was very fast for the entire weekend and also in the race on both Medium and Hard tyres.
“Starting on the dirty side was, as expected, very difficult and then I was unlucky with the accident in front of me, as I had to slam on the brakes to avoid Bottas and then Ricciardo with a broken front wing, losing some positions,” Sainz revealed.
“I was able to immediately retake the position from Giovinazzi at the restart and then my pace was always solid.”
Sainz explained the rationale behind the swap his team ordered in the final stage of the race to try and achieve fourth place.
“We did very good pit stops with both cars and in the final part of the race I had more pace than Charles, so I believe it was the right call to swap positions and not take unnecessary risks,” the 27-year-old explained.
“If we had raced each other the opportunity to catch Gasly would have been even more difficult. At the end of the race we swapped positions again as part of the team strategy.
“Today we brought home a good amount of points compared to our closest rivals and we are now ahead of them,” Sainz said in delight.
“That, together with my strong pace all weekend, are the important positives to take from Mexico. On to Brazil,” he concluded.
Charles Leclerc finished the race ahead of his teammate despite qualifying behind him, and expressed his feelings in the team’s post race media brief.
“Fifth and sixth is a solid result to take home from this weekend, as the race turned out a bit different to how we had expected,” said Leclerc.
“My first stint on the Mediums was strong and my pace was very competitive,” he went on explaining the team’s tyre strategy.
“We stopped relatively early for Hards to try and put pressure on Gasly ahead of us, while Carlos went long to create a tyre delta and try to challenge him towards the end of the race.
“We swapped positions but unfortunately, neither of us managed to catch him. His pace was quite a surprise today,” the Monegasque lamented.
“On my side, I struggled on the Hard tyres on my second stint,” he admitted, before concluding: “However, as a whole, I think that today was a good day and an example of our team spirit.”
Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto, hailed the team’s result in Mexico, especially as they were able to overtake McLaren in the Formula 1 Constructors’ Championship to take third after a miserable weekend for the Woking squad.
“Today’s result keeps us on course to reach our objective in this final stage of the season, which is to finish third in the Constructors’ championship,” Binotto said.
“The 18 points are the result of a good job from the entire team, the drivers, engineers and mechanics at the track and back at the remote garage, in the way they prepared for and managed this weekend.”
The Swiss-born Italian was impressed by the team’s strategy execution, which reflected great teamwork between his two young chargers.
“I was particularly pleased with the team spirit shown by Charles and Carlos and with the pit stops, with two very quick and precise tyre changes, despite the pressure the team was inevitably under,” he pointed out.
“We are now back in third place, with a not insignificant lead, but of course nothing can be taken for granted,” Binotto warned.
“We must try and consolidate our position in the remaining four races, continuing to make progress, which is really the most important aspect of our season,” the 52-year-old concluded.
Ferrari’s race in Mexico now places them third on the Constructors’ table, 13.5 points ahead of their rival McLaren, who came out of the Mexican weekend with a solitary point courtesy of Lando Norris’s 10th position. (Follow me on Twitter @MallakJad)
Leaving Mexico after a solid weekend 👊
Here’s the guys’ message for you, Tifosi ❤️
— Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari) November 8, 2021