Ferrari had headed to Mexico with great expectations: the goal was to stay right behind the two title contenders, in order to secure the third place in the Constructors Championship they are contending with McLaren. As the weekend started, however, things didn’t go so well for Ferrari at Hermanos Rodriguez. Charles Leclerc, in particular, had some troubles dealing with the rear of his SF21 since Friday free practice sessions. Things looked better for the Monegasque on Saturday, as he had some strong runs in the first part of qualifying, but traffic and a mistake ruined his chances of staring closer to the front rows in Q3.
"I’m quite disappointed. It has been a difficult weekend all along, but good progress from the practice sessions to qualifying. I put everything together today,” he commented at the end of the session.
“I was strong in Q1, Q2 and the first run of Q3. Unfortunately I made a mistake on the second run in Q3 and finished the session without improving my lap. I know that I had the potential to do better, but such is life.”
A very frustrating quali. Everything was coming together until the second lap in Q3. Tomorrow is a new day and I’ll give it my all to make it a great one. pic.twitter.com/0GSjECSAES— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) November 6, 2021
Fastest lap time for Leclerc was 1'16''837, which means he will be starting the race from P8, between the McLaren of Daniel Ricciardo and the Aston Martin of his former teammate Sebastian Vettel. The focus is now set on leaving behind a disappointing Saturday to get the most out of the race and score some points.
“Tomorrow is what counts and I will give it everything. Our race pace is looking good, but it will be very difficult to overtake here. Reliability will play an important role, because of the unique conditions at this track, but this will be the same for everyone."