Mattia Binotto: Mexico speed emphasises Ferrari’s ‘great improvement’

Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto says the team’s display in Mexico underlines the improvements it has made since Formula 1’s summer break.

Ferrari locked out the front row of the grid – courtesy of its sixth successive pole position – and while it missed out on victory, Sebastian Vettel finished within two seconds of Lewis Hamilton.

Binotto pointed to Ferrari’s performance level as justification for its improvement since the summer break, which it entered off the back of a subdued display in Hungary, where it finished a minute down on Hamilton.

“I think now we can’t be happy for the result of [the race], but I think overall as a team we should be happy for the weekend,” said Binotto.

“We earned another pole, I think we got a good pace in the race, on a type of circuit like Mexico which is similar to Hungary where you need maximum performance.

“That has simply shown we’ve done improvements since then, great improvements.

“We were there to fight and battle for the win which was not the case in Hungary.

“Going to Austin that no doubt our objective is to win and we have all the opportunity and possibility to do it.

“Let’s try now at least to start on pole and win and not start on pole and not win, so I’m pretty sure that’s something we are hoping, and I’m pretty sure we can do it yes.”

Binotto accepted that Ferrari – as with other teams – was caught out by the durability of the Hard tyre in Mexico, with Mercedes correct to take a “gamble” by stopping early.

“When Charles stopped for us [on lap 16 of 71] it was still too early to gamble on the one-stop, it would have been too risky,” said Binotto.

“Certainly the gamble they [Mercedes] did was the right gamble, they took some risks to win and I think the risks went to their merit, that’s the way it is.

“Maybe we should have taken more risks – it’s difficult to judge, after the result it’s easy to say yes.”