Female fans make Carlos Sainz blush in Mexico

Carlos Sainz qualified fifth for the Mexican Grand Prix following issues with the handling of the F1-75.

Carlos Sainz was less than optimistic ahead of Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix, after both Ferraris were almost out-qualified by the Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas, at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Circuit.

The Spaniard managed to end Saturday as the top Ferrari-powered driver; however, Bottas was only 0.05 seconds behind the 28-year-old.

It meant that the former Mercedes driver managed to qualify ahead of Sainz’s team-mate Charles Leclerc, as a result of both Ferrari drivers struggling with the handling of their F1-75.

Sainz ended Saturday almost six-tenths behind polesitter Max Verstappen, who was only challenged by the on-fire Silver Arrows.

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Both Sainz and Charles Leclerc struggled in the race, and were unable to challenge Mercedes and Red Bull.

Ultimately, Sainz and Leclerc finished the grand prix in fifth and sixth, respectively.

Their pace went downhill since FPA, with the Spaniard seemingly blaming the kerbs as to why they’re losing so much pace compared to their rivals.

“I think we know, as a team, why we are slow this weekend,” Sainz told Sky Sports F1 on Saturday.

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“We know which compromises we need to take. We know the numbers, we know why we are not as fast as we would like.

“But at the same time, I must say the car was a bit trickier to drive than I expected, or trickier to drive compared to other weekends, and we need to find out why.

“The altitude shouldn’t affect us. It should be more the ride and how we were on the kerbs. Today we were suffering out there.”

Replays during qualifying continued to show Sainz and Leclerc sliding and drifting over the kerbs, with the F1-75 looking “really difficult to drive”.

Should they keep sliding and drifting during the race then this could see the Maranello-based team suffer from tyre degradation, who will be targeting an unexpected podium.

Sainz admitted that he’s “fighting” the car across the lap, but that without the issues they are capable of competing with the “top three”.

“We were fighting it a bit too much,” added the Spaniard.

“I must say the car was really difficult to drive over the kerbs and bumps, which meant it was very difficult to put a lap together.

“I think if I put my sectors together, the performance was there to be in the top three with a 1:18.0. But when the car is so tricky around here with the little grip there is, to put that lap together is very difficult.

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“But it’s how it is, we know the compromises we needed to take this weekend and I cannot be too disappointed with the job we’ve done this weekend.”

Whilst on-track Sainz was someway off both Mercedes and Red Bull, off-track, he was having a great time.

Whilst giving an interview following Friday’s running, the Spaniard was disrupted by Mexican fans shouting that he was ‘handsome’, which resulted in the Ferrari driver blushing in front of his fans.