Sainz laments Ferrari ‘difficult to drive’ at high altitude
Ferrari was only the third force in qualifying for the Mexico Grand Prix. On the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Carlos Sainz could only clinch fifth place on the starting grid, while Charles Leclerc qualified seventh, overtaken by the Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas.
Fast in certain parts of the Mexican circuit, the F1-75s suffered especially in the esses of the second sector. On several occasions, Sainz and Leclerc were seen sliding there, desperately trying to keep their car in the right direction. As confirmed by Sainz, the track conditions, with little grip, were not suitable for his Ferrari. However, the Spaniard remained hopeful, believing that his machine could be more efficient.
« There was probably a little more [de temps] to pick up but the car was difficult to drive »Sainz explained. « Normally when it’s tough it’s tough to do laps like the ones we did in Austin. Today there was probably a few tenths available but given the difficulty I think I did extracts a lot from the car. »
“We lost a lot of performance at high altitude but we have to see because I think it’s exceptional. I think it’s a circuit that doesn’t suit us very well but we tried to do our best.
According to #55, the Prancing Horse’s engine suffers from Mexico City’s high altitude and low atmospheric pressure. The Spaniard also revealed that Ferrari was having trouble getting the tires to warm up.
“Altitude should not impact our cornering speed dso I guess maybe something is going on with the tires and the engine as well »Sainz continued. “I think with the altitude this engine doesn’t behave exactly the way we would like. We knew before coming here that we were going to have to make compromises.
« And then with the tires and the car, over the curbs and the bumps, the driving was just tough. It was a struggle [dans les esses]. That’s why I couldn’t put a butt ride. We shouldn’t be too discouraged. I think it’s a very particular circuit, a very particular scenario, and we have to analyze what we could have done better and see if the race pace improves. »