Ferrari mock Mercedes driver in Mexico

Nyck de Vries is departing his role as Mercedes' reserve driver to partner Yuki Tsunoda at AlphaTauri in 2023.

Ferrari go into the Mexican Grand Prix with their second place in the Constructors’ Championship looking at an increasing risk, with Mercedes appearing to be incredibly strong at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Circuit.

The Maranello-based team go into Sunday’s race with Carlos Sainz starting fifth and Charles Leclerc in seventh, with Valtteri Bottas staggeringly splitting the two of them.

Sainz alone was almost six-tenths behind polesitter Max Verstappen, whilst Mercedes secured second and third on the grid.

It means that the Silver Arrows look set to make up massive ground on the Italians, with the Germans currently sitting 53 points behind.

READ: 2022 Mexican GP: Valtteri Bottas thought he was in a Mercedes

With three races remaining, this gap could swing dramatically, especially if either Ferrari driver fails to finish the race.

Sunday is looking likely to be one of damage limitation for Sainz and Leclerc, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell set to battle Verstappen and Sergio Pérez for victory in Mexico City.

Ferrari’s struggles appear to be as a result of sliding and drifting over the kerbs around the circuit, with the F1-75 appearing to be a challenge to handle.

This does come as some sort of surprise, given that Sainz led a Ferrari one-two during FP1 Friday morning, where the Spaniard was involved in one of the best radio messages of the season.

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During FP1, Sainz was told that Mercedes reserve driver Nyck de Vries was behind him, something which the Spaniard clearly misheard.

“De Vries behind, on an outlap,” Sainz was told over the radio by his engineer.

“What? Debris?” misheard the 28-year-old.

Ferrari added a screenshot of the conversation onto social media, with a simple caption of “oops”.

It was actually De Vries’ final time driving for Mercedes, with the Dutchman, of course, heading to AlphaTauri in 2023 to partner Yuki Tsunoda.

De Vries has been part of the Mercedes family for the last three years, where he has also raced for the team’s Formula E side.

De Vries explained after FP1 how “emotional” the session was on Friday morning, but that he’s “very happy”.

READ: Lewis Hamilton savages Fernando Alonso by simply posting a picture

“It was indeed [emotional] and I’m very happy,” said De Vries to

“We ended it well, I enjoyed the session, we had three great years together – actually it was four but the first year was a bit unofficial.

“But we had a good time together and I’m very grateful for all the opportunities the team has given me. I’ve learned a lot, I’ve built up personal relationships within the team and the relationship is still good. So I’m just grateful for that, and now I’m obviously looking forward to the next chapter in my career.”