Ferrari Formula 1 boss Mattia Binotto admits his side could have taken “more risks” in the Mexican Grand Prix after a strategy gamble by Mercedes led to an unlikely victory.

Despite Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel starting the race from the front-row and leading the early stages, a bold one-stop strategy call by rivals Mercedes enabled Lewis Hamilton to jump ahead of both and claim his 10th victory of the season.

Polesitter Leclerc committed to an early two-stop, while Vettel was unable to make the most of much fresher tyres compared to Hamilton to pass him on track in the final stint, as he ultimately crossed the line 1.7s behind the world championship leader.

Binotto said Ferrari did not realise until “very late” that a one-stop strategy was the better option and conceded that Mercedes made the correct call.

"When Charles stopped it was still too early to gamble on the one stop, it would have been too risky,” Binotto said.

"Not only for tyre degradation but for wear as well. That's something you can look at and analyse in the data.

"Certainly the gamble they [Mercedes] did was the right gamble. They took some risks to win and I think the risk went to their merit.

"That's the way it is, maybe we should have taken more risks. It's difficult to judge. After the result it's easy to say yes.”

Binotto explained that Ferrari’s strategy was largely influenced by Friday’s running in Mexico City, which pointed towards tyre degradation being high during Sunday’s 71-lap race.

“After Friday and Saturday we were certainly not expecting such a long life on the tyres, we need to look back why it behaves like that, something to learn,” he added.

“But I think everyone was quite surprised, I think even the people pitting early for one-stop took a gamble, I don’t think that was their initial intention.”

While Vettel claimed a podium finish, Leclerc was left to settle with fourth place behind Valtteri Bottas as the leading driver to carry out a two-stop strategy.

“I am disappointed of course, every time you start first you always want to win and the two last times I started first I didn’t win so I’m not happy with that,” the Monegasque said.

“I think it’s pretty clear why and we will learn from this.

"We wanted to cover Albon at first, which we did, and from then it was difficult to do better.

“With the two stops it was very difficult to stay behind the cars and to overtake at the end, even with a very good pitstop."

 

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