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Slumping Ferrari Once Again Non-Factors in F1 Mexican Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz finished a minute behind winner Verstappen, in danger of losing second spot in Constructors' Championship.

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In terms of pure pace at Mexico City, Ferrari had one of its worst Formula 1 weekends of the 2022 F1 season.

Ferrari qualified only fifth and seventh—seven-tenths of a second off Max Verstappen’s pole time—while in the race it was nowhere to seen. Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc settled into a rhythm in fifth and sixth place respectively, but if you were following the leaders, you’d have had a hard job noticing the red cars at all.

Sainz finished 58 seconds behind Verstappen after 71 laps of racing, with Leclerc 1 minute, 8 seconds down on his one-time title opponent. Ferrari admitted it had to make “compromises” with its power unit, due to the altitude, but this was not held as the full reason for its lack of performance.

Carlos Sainz finished fifth, but was nearly a minute off the winning pace of Verstappen.

“It’s true that in terms of turbo, yes we are not as efficient (as some), and do not have the capacity to run maximum power here,” Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto said. “But that is part of the equation. There is more than that, certainly, and it is something that we need to look at. The ride was not great, the balance was not great, and as for the reason why, I think it has to be looked at, and we do not have a clear explanation right now.

“It was a very difficult weekend for us and it was clear that we were already struggling (Saturday) in qualifying and that was accentuated even more in (Sunday’s) race. There is a lot that needs to improve, but when faced with a difficult weekend like this, it is essential to bring the cars home and pick up as many points as possible.

“Charles and Carlos did the best they could and the way they tackled the first few corners after the start was exemplary. It is vitally important that we improve in the last two races so as to end the season to the best of our ability.”

Ferrari remains second in the Constructors’ Championship, just 40 points ahead of a Mercedes team that has had superior race speed of late. The season has just two races to remaining—Nov. 13 at Brazil and Nov. 20 at Abu Dhabi.

“We maximized the package, but we are one minute behind the leaders, which we need to understand,” said Leclerc. “We (have) our ups and down, and when we are in a down, it seems to be a big one, so we need to look into it to be more consistent even in our bad days.”

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