Binotto: Ferrari 'determined to win' in Mexico


Ferrari is clearly smarting at missing out in the last two races in Sochi and Suzuka, with team principal Mattia Binotto insisting that they will bounce back this weekend.

The team lost out to Mercedes in Russia after an early spat over team orders, while in Suzuka a stuttering start from Sebastian Vettel allowed Valtteri Bottas to sweep into an unassailable lead at the start.

“After two races in which we could have done better, we arrive in Mexico determined to win," he said in the team's preview for the Mexican Grand Prix.

"We will be aiming for our sixth consecutive pole, before looking to convert that into a victory.

"The Mexican track has plenty of elements that can catch you out, some of these linked to the fact we are racing at over 2000 metres above sea level.

"That makes fine tuning the settings on both the chassis and Power Unit side particularly complex, as the requirements are very specific to this track."

Last year's race saw Red Bull on top, with Daniel Ricciardo starting from pole and Max Verstappen clinching victory in the race. But Vettel and his then-Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen were second and third, after a hydraulic failure sidelines Ricciardo.


"Over the past couple of years, we have been on an upward trend in Mexico," confirmed Vettel. "Although Red Bull has been the team to beat.

"I think the gaps between us are getting smaller, so let’s see how we get on this year.

“Obviously racing at altitude has an impact on how the car feels," he continued. "We are racing with maximum downforce level in terms of car setup.

"But since we are racing so high above sea level, the air is very thin and the cars actually produce very little downforce.

"On the long straight, I think we see the fastest top speeds of the season, which makes it difficult to manage the corners because we’ve got so little downforce physically on the car.

"The car is moving around a lot and it’s difficult to get the tyres to work. In fact, it’s hard to get the whole car to work and to get the right feel from it. It’s a relatively short lap but not an easy one."

Charles Leclerc (MON) Ferrari SF90 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF90.

Vettel's current team mate Charles Leclerc made his Mexican GP debut 12 months ago with Sauber, and managed to finish in the points in seventh place albeit two laps down from the leaders.

He's hoping to me much nearer the front come Sunday.

"I have done one FP1 and one race there, so it’s one of the tracks that is still pretty new to me," he commented.

"I really enjoy driving there, especially because the walls are quite close and this is something I like as a driver.

"The circuit in Mexico is an unusual one. We race at such a high altitude and all the teams try to put as much downforce on the car as possible. Despite that, it still feels quite weird and the grip is extremely low.

"The atmosphere is amazing," he added. "Driving through the stadium part of the track is truly unique, because you can see all the fans in the grandstands.”

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