Ferrari says it'd welcome engine protest amid Mexico rumours

Before the start of the race rumours were swirling to the effect that a rival team may submit a protest against Ferrari, assuming that the Italian team gets a good result.

Speculation about Ferrari’s straightline performance has been mounting for some weeks, with rivals regularly pointing out how much they are losing out.

Binotto says a protest would in effect allow the team to clear its name amid the ongoing rumours.

Asked on the grid about the possibility of a protest by he said: “I would be happy because then we can show how stupid they are, and stop the rumours.”

Several rival team bosses questioned on the grid said they knew nothing about a potential protest, although one gave the intriguing answer: “I can’t talk about that.”

A protest is only likely to emerge today if at least one of the Ferraris finishes in a strong position. If not, then it may be postponed until the next race in Austin.

Red Bull’s Christian Horner is among those who have stressed how strong the Ferrari is on the straights.

“The Ferrari is just so fast on the straight, it was 0.89s quicker in a straight line yesterday with Sebastian [Vettel],” he told Sky F1 on Friday.

“When you look at all the others, the Honda engine is now getting pretty close to the Mercedes, the Renault is pretty much there as well.

“The standout at the moment, the benchmark, is the Ferrari. It’s not just a little bit, it’s whoppingly large, the difference. That’s what we’ve got to try and make up in the corners.”