Scuderia Ferrari closed the gap down to just three and a half points to the Mclaren F1 Team in the fight for third place in the Constructors’ standings, after a strong performance at the American Grand Prix.
Charles Leclerc drove a lonely but excellent race at the Circuit of the Americas, to cross the line in a super fourth. Team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr had a much tougher Grand Prix, after battling with Mclaren’s Daniel Ricciardo for virtually the entire race. The Spaniard was in amongst the team’s rivals from the start, after an opening lap fight with not only Ricciardo but former team-mate Lando Norris as well.
Sainz would’ve moved ahead of Ricciardo had it not been for another slow pit-stop, Ferrari went for the undercut on the Australian which they failed to pull off. In the end it was seventh for Sainz, with Valtteri Bottas making his way past the Spaniard towards the end of the race. Despite this Ferrari racked up more points than Mclaren, who finished fifth and eighth.
Team Principal Mattia Binotto believes the team have made huge strides forward this season but is disappointed at the valuable points lost after Sainz’s slow stop. Despite this Binotto is confident that third place is still up for grabs.
“We leave Austin having demonstrated, both in qualifying and in the race, that we have made progress even on a track that, on paper, is not particularly suited to our car. However, there’s some disappointment, because we did not do as well as we could have done, with the mistake at Carlos’ second pit stop costing him two places. “
We have always said we must use this season to make progress, because only if we are perfect in every area can we aspire to the higher echelons and we saw the importance of that again today. One slip up in what was overall a good weekend has cost us valuable points.
“Charles and Carlos were excellent today and in this part of the season, the performance of the SF21 has improved, partly thanks to the introduction of the new hybrid system. I believe we can fight for third place all the way to the end and that we have everything in place to achieve that.”