F1 news: Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz disappointed over Ferrari showing in Mexico

Ferrari have looked the quickest one-lap car for much of the season but have not translated their qualifying pace into race pace.

Heading to Mexico, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc had five podiums in a row but that changed in Mexico when he finished sixth a whole six seconds behind teammate Carlos Sainz and a minute behind race-winner Max Verstappen in the Red Bull.

Leclerc will end the 2022 Formula 1 season of having picked up the most pole positions, with two races in Brazil and Abu Dhabi remaining.

In an interview after Sunday's grand prix in Mexico City, Leclerc admitted it had been a lonely race: "It was really lonely. Just with Carlos, cruising until the end, way too slow for the guys in front; much quicker than the guys behind.

"So, we just did our strategy, focused on ourselves, tried to maximise our package, which we did, but we are one minute behind the leaders. So, we need to understand why our up and downs… whenever we are in a down, it seems to be a big one. So, we need to look into it in order to be a bit more consistent - even on our bad days," Leclerc said.

"It's huge, but I don't have the explanation yet. I believe we were losing quite a lot of time down the straights. Whether this was where all of it was coming from, I doubt it, but we need to analyse everything and make a step forward."

Sainz admitted Ferrari's lack of pace led to a rather boring race as is highlighted by the fact that fourth-placed Mercedes driver George Russell was able to do a late pit stop and still come out and do the quickest lap of the day without losing his place to the Ferrari.

The Ferrari ended up finishing around nine second behind the Mercedes of Russell.

"I think I drove a pretty good race but when you see the distance to the leaders there was not much more in it," Sainz said.

"We know the compromises we had to take for this weekend, we knew going into the race that we were going to be slow, but we maximised the points that the car could take.

"At least on a positive note, we didn't lose too much and we can focus on Brazil and Abu Dhabi where we expect to be back on the pace," he added.

The reason Ferrari were 'off pace' is due to them not being able to get the best performance out of their power united at altitude.

In an interview after Sunday's race, Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto gave his insight as to why they struggled compared to Red Bull and Mercedes.

"It has certainly been a very difficult weekend," Binotto said. "It already was in qualifying being quite far behind pole position when normally in qualifying we are quite competitive. And in the race, I think it simply emphasised the fact that we are not comfortable with the track this weekend.

"Our overall performance has not been great, no doubt. We were off the pace in the race. I think the compromises that both of them have been mentioning, certainly in terms of power unit we were not at our best performance for the weekend, but I don't think that's explaining most of it," Binotto explained.

"That's part of the equation but there is more than that, there is certainly more than that. It's something we need to look at and there is not a clear answer right now. The ride was not great, the balance was not great, I'm pretty sure the drivers will tell me the car was not turning, and the reasons why I think needs to be looked at and we don't have a clear explanation right now," he added.

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