There was some light-hearted trash talk going on between Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz as the 2021 campaign enters its crucial stage.
Sainz made the move from McLaren to Ferrari for 2021, meaning he is now in a battle against his friend and former team-mate Norris as both outfits battle to secure P3 in the Constructors’ Championship.
At the most recent round in Mexico, Norris had the disadvantage of starting from P18 following a power unit change but did recover to secure a solitary point for P10.
But with Ricciardo failing to score in the other McLaren, while Charles Leclerc crossed the line P5 for Ferrari and Sainz P6, it meant that the Scuderia replaced McLaren in P3 in the Constructors’ standings.
“It was a good race from my side, I don’t think we could have done a lot more,” Norris reflected during an interview alongside Sainz in the paddock.
“I got a bit unlucky in Turn 1 with where I had to go with [Valtteri] Bottas [spinning], but apart from that I think it was decent.
“One point is more than nothing, not a lot compared to these guys [points at Ferrari’s Sainz], the guys we had to beat today.”
Prompted to ask Sainz how he could look to beat them next weekend in Brazil, Norris with a smile asked: “Is it the barge board? Mid deflector?”
Laughing, Sainz replied: “Ah yeah, I told you since the beginning of the year,” the Spaniard confirming that there was just a bit of “trash talking” going on.
The ‘trash talk’ continued when both drivers were asked which team would ultimately secure that P3, with Ferrari now holding a 13-point advantage over McLaren.
“I think it’s going to be tight, I think these guys in Brazil and Qatar, Abu Dhabi also should be quick,” Sainz predicted.
Looking to Norris for some clarification, the Briton responded with: “Long corners, hmm, I don’t know about that.”
“It will be a good fight, Carlos isn’t very good in the high-speed corners!” Norris added.
Like Norris, Sainz also suffered at the start as he avoided two incidents ahead, but fought back to earn a shot at passing Gasly for P4.
Ferrari would ultimately swap their drivers again after Sainz was unable to make the move, meaning it was Leclerc in P5 and Sainz P6 at the end.
“Very pleased because we did a very good job as a team,” said Sainz of his Mexican Grand Prix.
“Unlucky from my side at the start a bit like Lando, just the two crashes were right in front of me, I had to take avoiding action and lost two positions that I shouldn’t have lost.
“From there on it was all about the pace and honestly we could have been very quick and again managed to put [together] a very strong pace, strong tyre management, managed to get a shot at going for Gasly, then we decided to swap back the cars.
“A bit messy there on the radio, but I think we executed well as a team the whole strategy.”