FRIDAY PRACTICE – 2018 Mexican Grand Prix (Driver Interviews & Report)
Race Weekend: 2018 Mexican Grand Prix
We’re now nearing the end of the 2018 Formula 1 season however, the battle for the fifth World Championship is still ongoing and despite Lewis Hamilton in the lead, one race is all it takes for things to change.
After so many weekends, Ferrari looked on form last weekend with Kimi Raikkonen winning the US Grand Prix however the same can’t be said for the start of this weekend – in the practice sessions so far, both Ferrari and Mercedes seem to be lacking with Red Bull in the lead, looking strong.
We need to remember that this is only practices and we normally see different results throughout the weekend – especially qualifying BUT if Red Bull remain as strong as this, it looks like we’re going to have an exciting weekend on our hands.
Let’s take a look and see what teams and drivers had to say about the Practice sessions and weekend ahead for the Mexican Grand Prix.
RED BULL RACING – FRIDAY PRACTICE – 2018 Mexican Grand Prix
MAX VERSTAPPEN – P1
Max Verstappen: “Today has been really good – much better than I expected. Not just for me but for Daniel also – it’s nice to have us both at the top and it looks like we have a very good car at this circuit.”
“We have good downforce and good mechanical grip. This was already clear from Monaco earlier in the year and you can see again it is working really well here – if you have good grip, you can make quite a big gap quickly because the surface is quite slippery out here.”
“The car was quick and there is always areas that we an improve – I think we seem to be more competitive here than in 2017 and we have a small issue with the hydraulics at the end but we haven’t been able to check the car yet – we are not too concerned about it for tomorrow, the guys will investigate this evening but we should be able to fix it.”
DANIEL RICCIARDO – P2
Daniel Ricciardo: “Our car worked really well on low fuel runs in both sessions today and this should put us in a good position for qualifying but I don’t want to be naive as I’m sure Mercedes and Ferrari will turn it all around tomorrow and give us that push!”
“If it stays like this it could be a close six-way fight for the pole which would be pretty exciting for everyone – tomorrow, I want to work more on our race pace and the high fuel runs as we weren’t quite competitive on those. It seems with the altitude here that everyone’s power levels are a lot closer.”
“The key in qualifying will be to get a clean lap as it’s quite slippery out here but today, on paper, we look good – the hypersoft is graining a low which is actually quite nice – most of the race have been easy on a one-stop so maybe we’ll get a two-stop this weekend.”
MERCEDES – FRIDAY PRACTICE – 2018 Mexican Grand Prix
LEWIS HAMILTON: P7
Lewis Hamilton: “The car was good in some places and not so good in others – it’s not about one particular area, there are lots of different things which we can improve and it’s difficult with the high track temperatures which were melting and graining the tyres – a lot of people were experiencing this today and we run the biggest wings at the track.”
“We are still quite quick on the straights because of the altitude but then there’s not a lot of grip through the corners, even on the hypersofts!”
“We’ve got some ground to catch up on so we’re now going to go through everything in the debrief and look at all the details tomorrow to find some answers – Red Bull seem out of reach at the moment, Ferrari are right there with us but we’ve got to try and compete. So, we will do the best we can to have a real race…”
VALTTERI BOTTAS – P9
Valtteri Bottas: “It was a pretty difficult day, we struggled with the pace and like nearly everyone – we struggled with the tyre life. Both of the compounds started to grain quickly and it feels like we’re lacking overall grip.”
“The car is sliding around a lot which is wearing the tyres. We don’t have an answer why we don’t have the pace but we’re going to be analysing it this evening and looking at things from every angle – we have plenty of work to do for tomorrow and while we’re scratching our heads at this moment, I’m confident that we’ll find the answers over the course of the evening and come back stronger tomorrow.”
FERRARI – FRIDAY PRACTICE – 2018 Mexican Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel: “This track is very unusual because of the altitude which makes the air thinner. The approach to this circuit is very simple and straightforward: everybody is trying to put as much downforce in the car as they can, so we’ll see what happens.”
“Our primary focus is always on winning the next race, and I think we know what we have to do to stay in the fight however, it clearly doesn’t depend only on us – we need to look ahead and I think it’s very important that we have started to understand what maybe didn’t work in previous races.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “If we look at the past editions, we can see that every one of the three top teams has been up there at some point.”
“So, the final result here can depend on many small things and that makes it pointless to start guessing as to who may have the upper hand this weekend. It can go either way.”