Carlos Sainz reveals why Ferrari ‘knew’ Mexican GP would be bad for them

Ferrari saw their advantage over Mercedes in the Constructors' Championship reduced to 40 points at the 2022 Mexican GP.

Ferrari will most certainly not be remembering the 2022 Mexican Grand Prix in a hurry, after ending the race in a lonely fifth and sixth at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

The Maranello-based team endured a somewhat bizarre weekend in Mexico City, after appearing to be well off the leading pace throughout the weekend, with the exception being FP1.

Carlos Sainz actually topped FP1, with Charles Leclerc in second; however, it was downhill from there.

After qualifying almost six-tenths off the leading time, it was clear that Ferrari weren’t going to be at the races on Sunday, something they comfortably weren’t.

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The F1-75 just looked slow, with some reports having stated that the team turned down the power units as a result of the thin air in Mexico City, due to the high altitude.

A power unit failure is the last thing Ferrari needed at Mexico, especially as the side are in a bit of a fight with Mercedes for second in the Constructors’ Championship.

It was evident very early on in the race that Ferrari wouldn’t challenge the top four, after slipping well behind the Red Bulls and Mercedes’.

The Scuderia duo were at no risk of those behind, though, resulting in a lonely race to fifth for Sainz and sixth for Leclerc.

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With Mercedes finishing second and fourth, the Italians lead in second was cut to 40 points, but the upcoming Brazilian Grand Prix should suit them considerably better.

Sainz admitted after the race that the team “knew” they were going to struggle in Mexico, and that it was “nice” just to finish the race.

“Going into the weekend with this car, at this altitude, we knew we were going to lose quite a bit of performance,” said Sainz.

“We were a minute away, but I haven’t finished a race in a month so it was nice to actually do that.”

Leclerc spoke in a similar fashion to the Spaniard and revealed that the team “maximised absolutely everything”, with the Monegasque simply labelling it as a “bad day”.

He’s hopeful the team can bounce back in Brazil, something he’ll need to do to recover the five-point deficit to Sergio Pérez for the battle for second in the Drivers’ Championship.

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Today, I felt like an explanation was that it was a bit of a one-off here in the different conditions and I hope we can come back to our usual performance in Brazil,” Leclerc said.

“I felt like we maximised absolutely everything and even though we did that we are still one minute away from Max, which is a huge difference.

“So we have to look at making our bad days better because when we have a bad day, especially on a Sunday, it is a really bad day.”