‘Mercedes not faster than Ferrari, but made right call’

Mark Scott
Mattia Binotto Ferrari

Mattia Binotto promotion not to blame for Ferrari's reliability issues.

Ferrari boss, Mattia Binotto, feels that Mercedes were not quicker than them in Mexico but made the better calls on strategy.

Ferrari started 1-2 on the grid following Max Verstappen’s demotion from pole and Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel were able to lead the pack still after the long run down to Turn 1.

However, the Scuderia could not convert into a victory with Lewis Hamilton able to make his hard tyres last despite pitting a lot earlier than Vettel, who had to settle for P2.

Leclerc, meanwhile, who was partly hampered by a slow stop, could only manage P4.

And Binotto feels that by not initially leading the race, Mercedes had the luxury of choosing an alternative strategy while Ferrari, as leaders, were more restricted.

“Today we were hoping for something better,” Binotto told Sky Sports in Italy after the race.

“The rhythm was good, Mercedes tried something different, they were good and also lucky.

“They took a huge risk but made the right decision, honestly when you are leading like we were at the start you cannot take those decisions.

“I don’t think Mercedes were faster than us today but they made the right call and deserve to win. I think the fact that we are not happy today proves how much we have improved. I think now we are at the same level of Mercedes which is huge for us.”

Asked specifically about Leclerc’s problems, especially in the second half of the race, he added: “We have to understand why he has so many problems in the second stint. He wasn’t fast so we will look in that. We were surprised by the performance of the tyres.”

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