Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz expects there to be a super close fight between them and the Woking team, despite showing much better performance in Mexico, while Leclerc adds that the team that makes fewer mistakes will win.
The Italian team took fifth and sixth place at the Hermanos Rodriguez Autodrome, while McLaren won only 10th thanks to Lando Norris, and Daniel Ricciardo’s chances of winning points disappeared in the first corner.
With this performance, Ferrari managed to overtake McLaren in the fight for third place in the constructors' championship and achieved an advantage of 13.5 points. But despite Ferrari’s recent form, which has finished ahead of McLaren in the previous three races in a row since they brought in a new powertrain, their drivers are cautious as they believe it will be a close fight.
"I think it's going to be super tight until the end," Sainz said. “Mostly it’s because if I give you the example of Mexico in the first lap, Daniel was ahead of us and that’s a fact so McLaren is in the mix every weekend,” he added.
"After that, he had an incident, but until the first corner, McLaren was in front of two Ferraris. They have their advantages, they have very good starts, they have a car that is very good in fast corners.
" "In sector two (Mexico) they were extremely strong when we looked at the data, so as soon as we head to tracks that are more favorable to them like Monza or Sochi, where they were miles ahead, then they will be hard to beat."
"What the new power unit has allowed us to keep us in the mix on every track and to fight well, and at the moment we are having a good fight, and now we are finally ahead of them in the championship," says Sainz.
The Spaniard’s teammate Charles Leclerc believes fewer mistakes, rather than performance, are likely to determine the outcome of the fight for third place. "We are very, very closely aligned and there may be races in which we are a little ahead and some others in which they are a little ahead, but I don't think that will make a difference," said Monežanin.
"The one who makes fewer big mistakes will win. [Mexico] was a good example of that. We took a great opportunity because both McLaren were quite behind. We managed to win a lot of points, which is an important moment for 3rd place in the championship, "Leclerc conclued.