(GMM) After Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz locked out the front row of the grid for the Mexican GP, Dr. Helmut Marko said Ferrari were sandbagging.
“It’s incredible what they did in those last laps,” Red Bull’s home-town hero Sergio Perez told DAZN. “We did not expect it.”
His boss, Dr Helmut Marko, thoroughly agreed.
“According to our calculations, (Alex) Albon and (Lando) Norris were our strongest opponents here,” he told ORF.
“At this altitude, there are a lot of different and interesting reactions,” the Austrian added. “I still think we’ll look better in the race.
“Ferrari can’t keep going at that speed.”
Having dominated the rest of the weekend, world champion Max Verstappen is P3.
“We are surprised,” Marko told Sky Deutschland after qualifying. “Especially when you look at Q2.
“Ferrari went all-out on engine performance. But that’s definitely not possible over the race distance. You can overtake here, so we are still positive about the race.”
The Austrian said Verstappen also had two messy final laps in Q3.
“Max had a little problem in turns 13 and 14,” he insisted. “But Ferrari was bluffing in all the practice sessions. It’s a surprise that they turned out so strong.”
According to pole-sitter Leclerc, however, the sudden surge in qualifying pace was even a surprise to the Maranello based team.
His teammate Sainz agreed: “It’s strange, really. I don’t know where we found almost a second.
“We both found it out of nowhere on fresh soft tires, which is not normal.”
And he said Ferrari will not be doing any celebrating until late on Sunday.
“Everyone knows we are not as fast in the race as Red Bull,” said the Spaniard. “It will be about keeping the tires alive.”