Scuderia Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto is cautiously optimistic regarding the Italian side’s chances of a strong performance in the next round of the 2021 Formula One season, the Mexican Grand Prix, as the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit is expected to suit the SF21 cars.
Scuderia Ferrari has impressed this season at circuits with fewer medium to high-speed corners such as Monaco, Baku – where Charles Leclerc was able to take back-to-back pole positions – while the Maranello team was also strong at the Hungaroring.
Now Ferrari is confident the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez could be added to the list of venues where they can be strong, especially taking into consideration the recent power unit upgrade and an encouraging display at the United States Grand Prix two weeks ago, despite the fact that the Austin circuit was a better fit for their chief 2021 rivals, Mercedes-powered McLaren.
Charles Leclerc finished a rock-solid fourth at the Circuit of The Americas, while his team-mate Carlos Sainz was involved in a race-long battle with McLaren duo Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris despite being inconvenienced by having to start on soft tyres.
Scuderia Ferrari is now just 3.5 points behind their main rivals in the Formula 1 Constructor Standings, as the Maranello team and McLaren continue the fight for third place, with five races until the end of the season:
“In Mexico, we are running there with maximum downforce performance and it is a track where power sensitivity is less important. So although there is still a gap to Mercedes [in power terms], I think the Mexico track will be in our favour compared to what we saw in Austin.” – Mattia Binotto explained.
The Ferrari boss was particularly enthused by the way in which Charles Leclerc was able to gain a string advantage against McLaren in the United States Grand Prix, instead finishing closer to third-placed Sergio Perez and briefly indicating he could have a chance of chasing down a podium finish at the Circuit of The Americas:
“Generally-speaking, this year the McLaren has been always very competitive in the medium/high-speed corners and again it was the case in Austin. But I think if I look at the overall performance of the weekend, we were ahead of them, which was very obvious in qualifying and Charles [in the race] was half a second [per lap] on average ahead of Ricciardo, finishing 25 seconds ahead of him. In the overall balance of the lap, I think we were clearly faster and I think on paper it was not a circuit which was suiting obviously our car. That is why I am pleased with the progress I have seen in the last races and certainly the help of the power unit, both for qualy and the race. That gives me some confidence for the next races.” – Scuderia Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto concluded.