“We maximized the potential, but finished a minute behind Verstappen.” “I felt good in the car, but when you are so slow there is little you can do”. “We have no answers to the difficulties encountered”. This is how Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz and Mattia Binotto commented on the Mexican Grand Prix, the hundredth Grand Prix for the Monegasque, which has turned into the worst weekend for Scuderia Ferrari in this 2022 Formula 1 season.
In the last two races of the current championship, Ferrari must avoid other similar performances to be able to defend its second place in the Constructors’ standings against a charging Mercedes.
“The Ferrari seen in Mexico was worst of the season. Also far behind Mercedes, not only from Red Bull, with a car that was slow in qualifying and was not competitive at all in the race. Perhaps wrong set-up choices penalized Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. But certainly the final part of a season that had begun with so much enthusiasm in the spring, is clearly melancholic” – writes Leo Turrini in the Italian newspaper based in Bologna ‘Il Resto del Carlino’
“It is not serious to argue that Red Bull have won the last two drivers’ world championships because they have been clever with the budget cap. They won the titles because Adrian Newey has been the best designer around for thirty years and because Max Verstappen is exceptional behind the wheel. Point. For Ferrari, which has made significant progress compared to the recent past, it is more convenient to try and find answers to the questions that worry about 2023, namely reliability and tire management” – Leo Turrini added.
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“Ferrari, after the worst qualifying of the season, had the worst race of 2022 in terms of performance. After twenty laps Carlos Sainz had already accumulated a huge deficit of about 20′ to Max Verstappen and over 10′ to Mercedes. It seems we went back to one year ago when the red car was fighting in the midfield zone – we read in the Corriere della Sera – but it was already understood that this would be the case: a ‘slippery’ car, an compromise set-up, but above all a limited engine, very far from the peaks that could be seen at the beginning of the season. . In Mexico, a further step backwards on power was taken, to avoid breakdowns on a very severe circuit for power units. The thin air of the 2,200 meters, in fact, puts a strain on the turbo and the Ferrari power unit is fragile in this respect. The only meager goal of the Maranello team was to reach the finish line, to limit the damage and defend the second place in the constructors standings, where Mercedes is now closer. The minimal goal was achieved with a race of pure, depressing suffering” – Corriere della Sera pointed out.
“After the worst qualifying of the year (the Spaniard 5th and Charles 7th), the two drivers of the Maranello team engaged in a duel at the start, then they struggled to keep up with the others. They simply had to defend themselves, resist. They were the only cars not to finish lapped. Mercedes reduces the gap in the Constructors championship to 40 points, as the F1-75 cars fell back just like in Belgium.” – we can read in La Repubblica about Ferrari’s nightmare performance in Mexico.
“Fifth and sixth for the two Ferrari cars, one minute behind the winner, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc in order. The Maranello team’s season declines slowly but surely. The F1-75 started the championship as the best car on the grid, halfway through it was overtaken by Red Bull, now it has come out of the top four. In the Mexican GP, Mercedes was in front – we can read in the columns of La Stampa – the season is close to the end with a big question: will the 2023 Ferrari F1 car be the heir of that splendid car that won two of the first three races this year or will it be similar to the car which has been so difficult to drive over the last few appearances? Red Bull is again too far ahead to be caught over the winter.” – La Stampa feels.