Fifth and sixth places for Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in the Mexico City Grand Prix helped Ferrari leapfrog McLaren and surge into a 13.5 point advantage in the battle over P3 in the world championship with four rounds to go. 

But Binotto admitted Ferrari was expecting more from a performance standpoint, with both his drivers finishing well behind AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, who claimed an impressive fourth. 

"We were hoping for a better weekend in terms of performance, but overall I think as a team result, it has been a great team result," Binotto said on Sunday. 

"The two drivers collaborated well. In terms of team strategy, we tried whatever we could to catch Gasly, but we couldn’t.

"In terms of points and championship, we are in third position now, 13.5 points ahead of McLaren, four races to go. So I think it's still a very tight battle.

"Certainly McLaren struggled as well the last weekend. Let's see now in Brazil in a week's time. Hopefully we may consolidate what we have seen today.”

Although Ferrari has enjoyed stronger form than McLaren in recent events, Leclerc still expects the fight for third to be “very tight”, believing it will ultimately be decided by the team who makes the fewest mistakes. 

"It's going to be up to which team is going to do the least mistakes because we are very, very closely matched,” Leclerc explained.  

“There might be races where we are a bit in front, and some others where they are a bit in front. But I don't think this will make the difference. The one who will do the next big mistakes will win. Today has been a good example of this.

"We've taken a big opportunity with both of the McLarens quite far behind. We managed to get quite a bit of points, which I think is an important time for the third place in the championship.”

Lando Norris scored McLaren’s only point in Mexico as he recovered to 10th from the back of the grid following an engine penalty, while teammate Daniel Ricciardo’s race was ruined when he picked up damage in a first-corner collision with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.

Despite Ferrari’s resurgence in the second half of the season, McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl is in no mood to accept defeat just yet.

"The most important thing is to accept is that days like today can happen in racing, they're part of the sport,” Seidl said. 

"At the same time, they can happen to your competitor. So there is no reason to give up this fight. We move on and luckily there is another race straightaway next weekend, and we can try to strike back.

“The disappointment today was we only scored one point but again this can happen to our competitors. We just need to focus on ourselves and scoring points consistently, which we didn’t manage today.