In the unpredictable world of Formula 1 racing, Ferrari's recent performance in Mexico has left fans, and even the team itself, grappling with mixed emotions. Achieving a commendable front row lockout, the Scuderia squad might have anticipated a triumphant end to their race.
However, the pole position once again eluded them in the final win, leading Team Principal Fred Vasseur to evaluate the race weekend with a guarded optimism.
A Podium Finish and A Missed Opportunity
Charles Leclerc, showcasing his undeniable skill, secured a spot on the podium for the first time since his performance in Belgium.
Right behind him, Carlos Sainz repeated his previous week's success by finishing fourth, mirroring his Austin stint before a post-race elevation. Although the Scuderia team secured their fourth pole in six races, their race pace lagged noticeably behind competitors Red Bull and Mercedes.
Reflecting on the performance, Vasseur remarked, “I would say that three and four is not a bad result, with the pole yesterday, the front row." He continued, “For sure, we are disappointed starting from the first row to finish third and fourth." Vasseur pointed out that while the first part of the race saw Charles in decent form, despite some damage to his car, the later segments weren't as favorable.
Their transition to the hard tyres didn't yield the desired pace when compared to their competitors. Yet, in the spirit of perseverance, Vasseur emphasized, "But let’s focus on the fact we got a fourth pole position out of six races and at least in the first stint we were good to fight”.
A Controversial Clash: Verstappen, Leclerc, and Perez
Race enthusiasts witnessed a heart-stopping moment during the first lap. A clash between Max Verstappen, Leclerc, and local favorite Sergio Perez resulted in Perez crashing out and Leclerc's car sporting a broken front wing.
Vasseur humorously described the trio's on-screen collision, saying, “Sandwich is a good word, watching those three on TV, we were lucky it was not a panini for us”. He further added, “I think Charles, he had nowhere to go and Checo had to turn also, Max was close to the kerb, I think there is no one to blame on this." While the Mexico race may have been a roller coaster for Ferrari, Vasseur remains optimistic, concluding, “Let’s continue the pole positions...
and I think we are not far away, we just have to put everything together”. The race may not have ended in outright victory, but the Scuderia's consistent performance is a testament to their resilience and competitive spirit.