Carlos Sainz warns Mercedes

Mercedes sit just 24 points ahead of Ferrari ahead of Sunday's Brazilian GP.

Carlos Sainz has warned Mercedes that they “cannot afford to make any mistakes” in the final three races of the season, as Ferrari are ready to “capitalise” on the Silver Arrows’ errors.

Ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, Mercedes sat 22 points ahead of Ferrari in the fight for second in the Constructors’ Championship; however, their advantage has increased to 24 points following Saturday’s sprint race.

Ferrari and Mercedes appear to be very well matched at Interlagos, with the Italians having the edge slightly over one-lap.

However, Mercedes have often become significantly stronger on a Sunday, something which might not happen this weekend if the sprint race is anything to go by.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finished fourth and seventh in the sprint, whilst Charles Leclerc and Sainz finished fifth and eighth.

Unexpectedly, it was the Silver Arrows who endured worse tyre degradation, something which has rarely been a concern all season.

Ferrari’s tyre management also wasn’t brilliant but it did seem better than Mercedes’.

The Maranello-based team also have fresh Soft tyres to use on Sunday, something which could massively work in their favour.

Article continues below

Leclerc also starts Sunday’s race from the front row, alongside pole sitter Max Verstappen.

It’s highly likely that the fight for P2 will go down to the wire in Abu Dhabi, although Sainz believes that it’s the Silver Arrows who have the “upper hand” in their duel.

“I do believe that Mercedes has a bit the upper hand, mainly because they’re heading the championship and 22 points is quite a bit,” Sainz told the media ahead of this weekend, as reported by

“And also, given the points are done on Sunday and that’s where the Mercedes comes stronger and we are the weakest, I think for sure they have a bit of the upper hand.

READ: Oscar Piastri’s mum responds to Fernando Alonso being her son’s dad

“But at least we’re managing to keep the pressure on and they cannot afford to make any mistakes because we’re there to capitalise on them.

“It’s a fun battle, like Lewis said,” Sainz continued.

“We’re always very close to each other in the races. Normally, it’s them chasing us or overtaking us in the race and hopefully we can reverse that in the last three races and at least not get overtaken and manage to finish ahead because that’s where the points are given.”