|Circuit||CircAutodromo Hermanos Rodriguez – Mexico City|
|Distance||305,354 / 189,779 miles|
||Scuderia Ferrari||retired / accident|
||Scuderia Ferrari||retired / accident|
Maurizio Arrivabene: “Over the course of this season we had already managed to touch the sky. This time we reached the bottom. But today’s race was a lesson of humility that we must put to good use and that will further bind the team together and strengthen the character of everybody. I had already seen yesterday how this team can react to difficulties, having had to replace both engine and gearbox in so little time. Today, we are not blaming anybody: we are a team, we win and lose together. I regret the result as we had a really good pace in the race, but that’s racing, you can always have a bad day. This does not change our targets for the season, as Seb can still catch Rosberg in the point standings and Kimi can do the same with Bottas”.
Kimi Raikkonen: “About the accident with Bottas, there are always two different ways to look at things, everybody can have their own view, but to be honest I did not expect a much different end result. It’s racing in the end, but I think I was expecting that it probably might happen after Russia. Has he done it on purpose? I don’t know, you can decide yourselves, it doesn’t change the final outcome right now and it’s not going to change anything for me for the future. Obviously we had a pretty poor weekend, we were a bit unlucky on many things, and it’s not the nicest feeling for all of us, but we are still a strong team. It was an unlucky situation for both me and Sebastian, but that’s how it goes sometimes. As a team, we haven’t lost anything, we just had a pretty difficult weekend and I’m sure we can be back in the next two races, trying to finish the season strongly.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Today I had a bad start, and obviously after the contact with Daniel I was very angry, but in the end I think no one is to blame. He clearly could not avoid hitting me being too fast for the line he had chosen, but these things happen. That’s racing, even if of course it’s painful if it happens in the first corner and you have to drive all the way back. So the race was pretty much lost at that time. I was hoping for a safety car earlier on, but it didn’t happen. I tried to catch up, but the two mistakes didn’t help. The last one obviously ended my race and I am not proud of it. The car in general was good, we were quick, the pace was promising and we were very close to Mercedes, probably we hadn’t been that close for a while. I tried everything to force it and come back. And trying too hard is probably the right explanation for my mistake.”
|Pit-stop||1st stop||Lap 1||New Medium|
|2nd stop||Lap 35||New Medium|
Weather: air 24/25 °C, track 43/50 °C. Sunny
Kimi Raikkonen’s race ends on lap 22 after a collision. Sebastian Vettel crashes out with 20 laps to go
Mexico City, 1 November – Scuderia Ferrari’s Mexican Grand Prix came to a premature end today. Sebastian Vettel faced an uphill struggle from just metres after the start. The German and Daniel Ricciardo had a coming together at the first corner, which punctured the Ferrari’s right rear tyre, so he had to pit and change tyres. Having rejoined, Vettel moved up from last to eleventh, but a spin on lap 17, made life even more complicated. In the middle stint, Seb was driving at a very strong pace, but a mistake at Turn 7 brought his race to an end. Kimi Raikkonen’s race lasted just 22 laps. Having started from nineteenth, the Finn had climbed back into the top 10. On lap 22, Raikkonen had to retire after a collision with the Williams of Valtteri Bottas, which damaged his right rear suspension. Come the end of the 71 laps, Nico Rosberg emerged victorious for Mercedes ahead of his team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
Kimi Raikkonen: “This morning we had a problem with the car in P3, and we had to change the engine and the gearbox. It was a very tight call to put everything back together, but the guys did an excellent job to make the car ready for Q1 in that small lapse of time available. However there was not enough time and not everything was 100 per cent, I still had a small issue with brakes. Actually, they were working, but then they locked up on one lap. Anyway, with all the penalties we are getting tomorrow, our best option was to do well enough to make it to Q2 and not really do anything after that. We did three fast laps so that we can check later that everything is ok with the car and try to make a good run out of it.”
Sebastian Vettel: “To be fair, when I woke up this morning and even after P3, I thought we would be a bit closer to the Mercedes than we actually were in qualifying: unfortunately, they proved to be very strong. They were doing two consecutive laps, they were not using all the energy in one lap, so we need to be careful as I think they will be very quick also tomorrow in the race. But we will try our best, we are here to fight, we have nothing to lose. Nico is the primary target, we want to keep second position in the championship and we’ll do everything we can to achieve that. I hope that our race pace tomorrow is going to be as good as it looked yesterday; obviously it is always difficult to know what other people are doing, but considering that we were on the harder tire, on Friday we seemed to be very quick on the long-runs. I hope we can be quick tomorrow as well, and make the tires last. I think this will be the key for the race because on paper it looks easy, but then, with all the sliding around from low grip surface, we’ve seen many people struggling to keep their tires alive.”
Sebastian starts third on the grid, Raikkonen takes no risks in Q2
Mexico City, 31st October –Qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix was a spectacular sight with the stands at the Hermano Rodriguez circuit packed out with enthusiastic fans. Sebastian Vettel was third quickest in 1.19.850. He and the two Mercedes ahead of him were the only drivers to get under the 1m 20s barrier. Kimi Raikkonen had a tough time this afternoon. After his problems in third free practice, the mechanics just got his car rebuilt a few moments before the start of qualifying.
He was twelfth quickest in Q1, but in Q2 he came on the radio complaining of a brake problem. Raikkonen will drop five places from his 15th position, because of the penalty that goes with the gearbox change, which is why he decided not to push too hard. He will therefore start tomorrow’s race from the ninth row. Nico Rosberg will start from pole in the Mercedes, having set the fastest time of 1.19.480.
Seb just behind the leaders. Kimi has an exhaust problem
Mexico City, 31 October – Just two tenths of a second separate the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel from the fastest time in the third and final free practice session for the Mexican Grand Prix. The German lapped in 1.21.294, behind the top trio of Nico Rosberg (1.21.083) and Lewis Hamilton (1.21.097) in their Mercedes and Daniel Ricciardo (1.21.201) in the Red Bull. Kimi Raikkonen only spent a short time on track, as he had to stop on his fourth lap with an exhaust problem. It looks as though qualifying will be very close when it gets underway here in Mexico at 13h00 local time.
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was quite a tricky day, the layout of the track is ok but the new surface was very slippery. The cars were sliding around and sometimes you felt more like being in rallying than in Formula One! The tires are a bit on the conservative side but it’s the same for everybody. We knew since the beginning that because of the altitude and the thin air, the speeds would have been high, I think everybody was running full downforce; but I would prefer to have the usual amount of downforce. Obviously, as we do more and more laps, track conditions will improve and the surface will grip out, but I’m sure it will still be more tricky than other races. In the second session during the long run it was raining a bit and I didn’t want to risk anything, so I took it easy every time there were drops coming down. Tomorrow we still have time to work on the car for a better set up and see how it goes. We’ll try to make the best out of it.”
Sebastian Vettel: “It was an interesting day, the circuit was very slippery. It has very low grip, I think everybody struggled to keep the car on the track. Surprisingly the speed was low overall, I was hoping that the fast corners were a bit quicker. Hopefully with more rubber on the track it should get quite a bit better. It was amazing to see how many spectators there were already on Friday, and it’s also kind of unique to enter a sort of stadium when you look left and right and see this many people are there… And then the big grandstands, you drive through them! It’s a bit like Singapore, just bigger, and there is a great feeling. I think we can be reasonably happy with how the day went, but I’am sure we can still improve. Unfortunately the rain stopped our long run in the end, but so everyone was affected the same way. Nevertheless I am sure we can do improvements for tomorrow and we should be in a good place.”
Seb fifth and Kimi sixth in second free practice
Mexico City, 30 October – The slippery track surface at the Hermanos Rodriguez circuit again affected the second free practice session, with several cars going off track, with light rain coming in towards the end. Topping the time sheet was Nico Rosberg (1.25.531) in the Mercedes, ahead of the Red Bull duo of Daniil Kvyat (1.21.776) and Daniel Ricciardo (1.21.868.) Next up were the Ferraris, fifth and sixth with Sebastian Vettel (1.21.984) and Kimi Raikkonen (1.22.399.) After working on performance in the first part of the session, both drivers then focused on long runs, which produced encouraging results, before a final stint on Intermediates when the track was wet.
Kimi and Sebastian’s first taste of the new track
Mexico City, 30 October – Formula 1 action officially returned to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez with the first free practice session. The new track surface was still damp from early morning rain, which made life difficult for the drivers, who started running on the Intermediate tyres, before switching to the Mediums. The entire field reported low grip conditions, with lap times a long way off those predicted by the simulator. Quickest was Max Verstappen (1.25.990) in the Toro Rosso, ahead of the Red Bull of Daniil Kvyat (1.26.295.) Raikkonen (1.26.295) and Vettel (1.26.886) were third and fourth respectively for Ferrari, working on adapting to the new track and some aero comparison tests.
Sebastian and Maurizio, watchmakers for a night
Mexico City, 29 October – A challenge down to a millimetre. That was the highlight of an evening organised by Hublot to present Big Bang Ferrari Limited Edition Tourbillon Mexico, a special edition watch to celebrate the return of the Mexico City Grand Prix. Taking part in the unusual competition were Maurizio Arrivabene and Sebastian Vettel, who tackled the task of reassembling a bezel held down with six tiny screws. The aim of the contest was to perform the delicate task as quickly as possible, under the supervision of a master watchmaker, from the company’s headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. The winner was Sebastian who completed the job in one minute.
Kimi impressed with the new track facility
It’s nice to come to a new place, I had been here before but not to Mexico City. I haven’t seen a lot apart from the hotel and the track, but so far everything looks nice and perfect, they have done a very good job here. I’m sure there will be a lot of fans, it is going to be a nice weekend. It will be challenging and unknown for everybody, since it’s a new place and we are at high altitude. This will influence a lot of things, the behavior of the car and of the engine in the first place. Let’s see how it is once we get running, and hopefully we’ll find out that it will be fine for us.
Seb looks forward to Mexican challenge
I’m very excited, obviously I haven’t been on track yet, I only did the normal simulator preparation, but the track looks very interesting. Especially the fact that the altitude here plays a big role: looking at the downforce level of the cars and the drag levels, it should be an interesting experience. I think we have a great atmosphere in the team, in general we are in a good way this season. We probably surprised a lot of people and we exceeded our expectations as well, so it was all in all positive so far. Unfortunately, the first place is out of reach, and second is better than third, then we try to go for second! I don’t consider myself the underdog, I know that we are not the favorite, but I think that from the beginning of the season we have shown that we’re not somewhere in the midfield. If we get our act together, then we have good chance to finish on the podium on a regular basis. I think that is what we’ve achieved so far. I think overall this season has been different from last year. Obviously it was a completely new situation for me, to start with a new team: joining Ferrari has been a great experience so far, but we also know where we want to go and where we want to be in the future. So there’s still a lot of work ahead of us and certainly we would be happier if people wouldn’t call us the underdog, but the favorite in the future…I haven’t been on the old track so I can’t compare it with the new one, but I think it looks very exciting. Unfortunately, I think we lost some of the really high speed corners, but I believe it should still be an interesting circuit, quite technical in places, but we haven’t been out there yet so I guess we need to wait until tomorrow. In general I think we have done a great job this year on the Power Unit side, obviously there’s a long straight here and that should put a premium on the engine side.
Esteban: “Demanding for man and machine”
Maranello, 28 October –This is definitely a very busy weekend for Esteban Gutierrez, Scuderia Ferrari’s third driver. “Having a home race is a great feeling,” the Mexican admitted to ferrari.com. “I don’t really know what to expect, but I am sure it will be incredible. Being the third driver means I get to take part in this amazing event with a different perspective, experiencing it from behind the scenes. It’s an honour to host the world of Formula One in our country and I’m curious to see what Mexicans will feel about this very special weekend. A unique aspect of this track compared to all the others is its altitude: everyone thinks about the effects this can have on the cars, but let’s not underestimate its physical impact on the drivers and the team members. As for the car, you can partly assess these conditions in the simulator, while the guys will need to be well prepared physically so they can adapt quickly to the different ambient conditions”.
Gutierrez: “Proud to host such an important event”
Maranello, 27 October –Racing for the first time on a new track is always an exciting experience for a driver, but in the case of Scuderia Ferrari’s third driver, Esteban Gutierrez, Mexico represents something special. “This is my country, I was born here and I love this place,” he tells ferrari.com. “I’m very proud of being Mexican and of the fact my country is hosting such an important event, part of a sport which is also my passion. For me this is the best possible combination. The circuit is very technical and I’ve been driving it on the simulator, because as usual with a new track, that’s essential in order to understand how best to tackle it over the weekend. “The three sectors are very different from each other but very technical at the same time. It means drivers who work out the best line will be the first to set quick lap times. I don’t expect it to be very hot, so even getting the tyres up to temperature will not be easy. Only once the cars are out on track will we understand how suited is our car to these various characteristics. As usual, track conditions will improve bit by bit as the cars do more running which will see the lap times gradually come down. It will also be interesting to see how the drivers adapt to this circuit, because they will want to do so as quickly as possible”.