Plenty of ‘chilly’ served up with today’s Mexican #F1esta. Air temperature was a nippy 12°C for the start of FP1, improving to a slight warmer 16°C by the end of FP2. Some positive signs for the weekend though and our drivers enjoyed their first taste of the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.
Free Practice 1 & 2, Formula 1 Gran Premio de México 2016
Friday 28 October
Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Mexico City
Pascal MRT05-01 FP1 P22 1:24.350 28 laps / FP2 P17 1:21.980 42 laps
Esteban MRT05-02 FP1 P20 1:24.083 30 laps / FP2 P21 1:22.298 44 laps
Pascal, nice couple of sessions. What are you thinking after your Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez debut?
“Overall I feel positive about today. In fact, this is the first Friday I’m happy about since quite a long time. It was a fairly normal programme, other than that we started out slightly differently by working with the Soft tyre, before the Medium. Our pace looks good, more or less similar to Sauber, so I’m happy with that. And I like the track. It has a nice fast, flowing rhythm and it’s fun to drive. So, a good start.”
It was a touch cool where we were standing. What implications did that have for the tyres and what other challenges do you expect during the rest of the weekend?
“Yes, it was quite challenging out there! We have been struggling a bit with tyre temperature, which is making our life a little bit more difficult, but we will do our best to improve for tomorrow.”
Esteban, how was it for you?
“Honestly, it has been a difficult start to the weekend for us. We’ve struggled a bit today with how the car is handling. We tried some different things to try to improve, but it was still difficult to drive. We need to have a good look at why and see what we can do to get around that for tomorrow. I really like the track here, it’s very challenging with high speed sections, which is great, but it requires more confidence to get a good lap time.”
Do you have a feel for how things might go for us this weekend? On paper, of course.
“I think to some extent we’ll be starting afresh tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll have solved the issues and we’ll be able to squeeze a lot of things into FP3 to get back up to speed and to where we need to be ahead of qualifying.”
A word with Dave Ryan, Racing Director:
“We’ve made a reasonably good start to our weekend here. In fact, FP2 was our second best practice session of the season, in terms of our performance relative to the fastest car. It is however only Friday, so we’ll see that for what it is at this stage – an encouraging start. It has been a pretty cold day here, which presented a few challenges with the tyres and grip levels, but nevertheless Pascal had a good couple of sessions and seems quite comfortable. Esteban experienced a few handling issues with his car, which we’ll need to get on top of tonight to give him the best shot at tomorrow.”