Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says the Mexican Grand Prix proved that the Scuderia has made “great improvements” in 2019, despite failing to win.
Charles Leclerc took Ferrari’s sixth consecutive pole, but a race win failed to follow for the third race running amid poor strategy calls and Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton playing the race to perfection.
However, Binotto’s thoughts turned to the last race before the run of qualifying in success in Hungary, where Ferrari qualified fourth and fifth before Sebastian Vettel beat Leclerc to third place in the race, albeit over a minute down on race-winner Hamilton.
In second and fourth respectively, Vettel and Leclerc were inside a clutch of front-runners separated by just six seconds at the chequered flag in Mexico City.
“Obviously now we can’t be happy for the result, but I think overall as a team, we should be happy for the weekend,” he said.
“We got another pole. I think we got a good pace in the race. And that’s on a type of circuit like Mexico, which is very similar to Hungary, where you need the maximum downforce.
“That is simply showing that we’ve done improvements since then. Great improvements. Today we also have to battle and to fight for the win, which was not certainly the case in Hungary.”
With Ferrari having apparently unlocked the potential of the SF90 mid-season, Binotto has challenged the team to make sure that form spills over into 2020.
“We are encouraged by the fact that we now have a package that allows us to fight for wins on most tracks,” he said.
“We need to use the last three races of this season to further develop as a group and to operate in the sharpest possible manner in order to be better prepared for next year. It is a very tight field at the front and every detail matters if we want to win more often.”