‘I fear for Ferrari’: Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz warned about Mercedes

Both Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc finished over a minute behind Max Verstappen at the 2022 Mexican Grand Prix.

It was truly a Mexican Grand Prix to forget for Carlos Sainz, Charles Leclerc and Ferrari as a whole, with some now concerned over what the result means for the Italians future.

After FP1, which Sainz topped from Leclerc, it was looking set to be a great weekend for Ferrari at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez; however, Friday morning was certainly the peak of their weekend.

Sainz went on to qualify fifth for the race, whilst Leclerc claimed seventh as a result of Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas splitting the Ferrari duo, staggeringly.

The race was no better for the team, as it soon became apparent that they had nothing to offer Red Bull or Mercedes.

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Sainz and Leclerc had perhaps their most lonely race of the year, which ended in the pair finishing fifth and sixth respectively.

Both drivers appeared perplexed over why their weekend was so bad, with some questioning if the team had turned down their power units, something Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto hinted at.

Sainz at least managed to finish within a minute of race winner Max Verstappen, albeit just.

The Spaniard ended the race 58 seconds behind the Dutchman, whilst Leclerc was over a minute behind.

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Leclerc was “hurt” after the woeful race, after admitting that the team gave “absolutely everything” yet were still over a minute behind the winning pace.

“What hurts is that I felt like we’ve maximised absolutely everything today and even though we’ve done that, we are one minute away from Max, which is a huge difference,” said the Monegasque after the race.

Ex-F1 driver turned pundit, Paul di Resta, explained after the race that he’s concerned for the Maranello-based team’s future, with the Scot believing that “Mercedes have overtaken them”.

“I fear for Ferrari because since July, they have not really been in with a chance to win a race. They are out of it and Mercedes have caught them,” the Scot told Sky F1.

“Mercedes have overtaken them on a Sunday. On a Saturday, I think they can still pull it out, but I fear for where the Ferrari development path is going unless they switched that off early when they realised it (the championship) was out of reach.

“That concept came out of the box absolutely superbly. It’s gone on and it’s not quite there.”

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Whilst Di Resta “fears” for the Italians, perhaps it’s a bit premature to be concerned just yet, given that the team have likely switched their attention to 2023.

The United States Grand Prix was also very unfortunate for Ferrari, given that Sainz was forced to retire at the first corner and that Leclerc had a grid penalty.

Ferrari certainly have pace when they need it; the issue appears to be, though, the cost they pay for running their cars at their full potential.