|Circuit||Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
|Distance||305,354 km / 189,779 miles|
A 10 second penalty for a move deemed dangerous
Mexico City, 30 October – With a somewhat questionable decision, the Race Stewards have imposed a penalty on Sebastian Vettel, adding 10 seconds to his total time at the end of the Mexican Grand Prix. This means that Sebastian drops from third to fifth place. The penalty was imposed because of a move which was deemed to be “potentially dangerous” to Daniel Ricciardo. The move happened when Vettel was behind Max Verstappen, who refused to give back the position, despite the fact he had cut a corner of the track.
Maurizio Arrivabene: “Today could have felt special: we fully deserved this podium, which was taken away by bureaucracy. The whole team had showed great stamina by staying united and focused in a difficult moment. Our strategy had made it possible to make good progress through the race and both drivers did a very good job. Unfortunately, we were penalized by Stewards’ unappealable decision which, in my opinion, is too harsh and somehow unfair.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “My start was not too bad and we were running quite ok. After the first pit stop, though, I struggled to get any good grip with the Mediums, so we thought maybe we should try and see if we could go back on track with a new set of the same tires: but to be honest I had no better grip at the rear. It was the first time I was running with these tires, maybe it’s just how the tire is. Afterwards it’s easy to say that probably it was not the right thing to do, but I’m happy that we tried. It was not easy to pass Hulkenberg, it’s difficult when you get close and you have no grip. I don’t know if we touched, I just saw him spin.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Today I think we did everything right, we had a very good pace. I think we could have even done better with a better position in Qualifying, but we can’t change yesterday. We were very positive going into the day today, we knew that the speed was there, so we had good confidence for the race. We made the tires last longer than anybody else. We were quicker, so we put Verstappen under pressure: for sure it was not easy to pass, but he did a mistake, cut the track and didn’t give the position back even if he was told to do so. About the fight with Daniel: I respect him a lot, it is never ideal when you touch. On my defense, I was fighting hard, and trying to give him some space, which I think I did.”
Vettel jumps onto the podium in Mexico. Raikkonen fights his way to sixth
Mexico City, 30 October – Sebastian Vettel was classified third in today’s Mexican Grand Prix. The German drove a great final stint to cross the line fourth behind Max Verstappen. But the Dutchman was penalised 5 seconds, for not giving the place back after an illegal move, when he cut the corner, on the Ferrari driver, so that Seb was promoted to third. Kimi Raikkonen snatched sixth in the closing stages by passing Nico Hulkenberg.
The winner was Lewis Hamilton for Mercedes.
Kimi Raikkonen: “In Q1 the feeling with the car was good, better than in the morning during P3. Then in Q2 it was quite tricky to get the tires work consistently and to know where the grip was. In the last qualifying stint we were getting there again, but in the first run I felt it a bit odd in the last part of the lap and felt I could have gone faster in a few places. On the second try, for whatever reason, I had no speed in the straight, something was not right and we could not even try to go faster. It’s a pity because I think there was easily quite a lot of speed there today, but we couldn’t use it. Now we have to find out what happened. Obviously it’s disappointing where we finished today but tomorrow we’ll see what we can do.”
Sebastian Vettel: “I am very disappointed, because the car is quick. Our Q2 had been a walk in the park with the Soft tires. I had a much better feeling, but then with the Supersofts we were nowhere. Yesterday we were gaining quite a lot on the Supersoft compound and today we didn’t gain anything. We tried a couple of things, but in qualifying you can’t turn the world upside down: so now we need to have a look and see why. Everybody improved on the Supersofts, more or less half a second – everybody except us. The car is quick, there is nothing wrong with it, and we start where the car doesn’t belong. It doesn’t make our race easier to start further back, but I think we still have a chance.”
Raikkonen one place ahead of Vettel in qualifying
Mexico City, 29 October – At the end of today’s qualifying at the Hermanos Rodriguez Circuit, Kimi Raikkonen was sixth fastest in 1.19.376, while Sebastian Vettel was seventh with a lap in 1.19.381.
Raikkonen and Vettel will start tomorrow’s Mexican Grand Prix on the Soft tyres, the compound they chose for the Q2 session.
Starting from pole will be Lewis Hamilton who posted a time of 1.18.704.
Seb and Kimi sixth and seventh fastest
Ferrari finished up sixth and seventh at the end of the third practice session for the Mexican Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel posted a best time of 1.19.937, with Kimi Raikkonen right behind him courtesy of a 1.19.994. Sunny skies and rising temperatures greeted competitors in the 19th round of the World Championship this morning and in under three hours it will be time for the grid-deciding session. Both Ferrari men focused on qualifying and race work, running the Soft and Supersoft tyres. Traffic was a factor for everyone when it came to setting a quick lap time. Quickest was Max Verstappen who lapped in 1.19.137 in his Red Bull.
Kimi Raikkonen: “Overall it was pretty ok today, but it’s still early to know where we are and how’s going to be. I had some understeer, mainly in the afternoon, with new tires on it was a bit tricky, but it’s still the first day of practice. Now we have to concentrate and work on a few things as we normally do after the Friday’s session and hopefully tomorrow, on new tires, we can push a bit more.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Overall it was a good day: the car seems to work, not only judging from the result but also as an overall feeling. The pace was there not only for one lap, but for all the laps we have completed. Also, we were always ahead of schedule leaving the garage, which is not always the case. For sure it is nice to be first in the time sheets, but this doesn’t mean anything on Friday. If we are in the same position tomorrow afternoon, then we can be happy. Anyway, I felt that I was in Mexico city, not on the race track, with all the traffic! I think everybody was fighting with the same problems, trying to make the tires last, especially the Supersofts. I didn’t have successive laps because I had so much traffic, but overall the pace was good, which is the most important thing. I think we can still improve for tomorrow and go from there.”
Raikkonen 4th. All top drivers on Supersofts
Mexico City, 28 October – The track improved for FP2 as it began to clean up and get rubbered-in, with warmer conditions. On the circuit named in honour of the Rodriguez brothers, Sebastian Vettel was fastest for Ferrari. As usual, track time was given over to qualifying and race simulation work. Seb did a 1.19.790 on his only run on Supersoft tyres, having also done some long runs on the Medium. In the other SF16-H, Kimi Raikkonen posted a 1.20.259, good enough for fourth on the time sheet, who used the softest tyre on offer for this event, as well as the Soft.
Splitting the two Ferraris in second and third places was the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton (1.19.794) and Nico Rosberg (1.20.225).
Free practice underway in Mexico: Seb and Kimi run different programmes
Mexico City, 28 October – No sooner has the United States GP been consigned to history that it’s time for the 19th round of the season in Mexico. The grandstands were already packed today at the Hermanos Rodriguez Circuit in Mexico City as the first free practice session kicked off the track action. The first half hour was rather quiet because of the cold conditions and the dusty nature of the track surface. After an installation lap on the Medium tyres, Sebastian Vettel switched to the Softs, setting the second fastest time of 1.20.993, behind Lewis Hamilton who did a 1.20.914 in the Mercedes. Kimi Raikkonen had to wait until almost halfway through the session to get to work because of a problem with a sensor on his SF16-H. The Finn ran two sets of the yellow-banded Soft tyres on his way to third fastest with a lap in 1.21.072. The two Scuderia men ran different programmes focused mainly on aerodynamic work.
Seb: “we are here to fight, confident for the future”
We know we are not the favorites coming into this weekend, but we sure are here to fight and grab every opportunity of a win or a podium finish. Last year we didn’t have the best of results here, so obviously we’ll try to improve on that. Many things can happen, this is a track were nobody really has much experience, as it is only the second edition of this Grand Prix. More generally speaking, obviously this year we did not get the results we wanted, but there’s a lot of work going on back at the factory, a lot of things have changed and in Formula One, unfortunately, things do not happen at a mouse click. But I think we have a lot of people in the team, clever, smart people, and this will help for the future and make us feel more confident.
Kimi: on this track everything works differently
It’s hard to know what to expect for this weekend. Physically I don’t really feel different, considering the altitude, but obviously the cars are working in a different way. The engine works slightly different and so do the wings as the downforce is reduced. Last year it was quite tricky here, the track was very slippery to start with, and then it obviously improved. We had a very difficult weekend, how’s going to be this year and where we’ll stand against the other teams we’ll find out from tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll be in a better position.
Kimi: “Mexico is a very nice circuit”
Maranello, 25 October – Immediately after the race in Austin Texas, it’s time for the second edition of the Mexican Grand Prix, in this its third era. The race was on the calendar from 1963 to 1970 and then from 1986 to 1992. It was reintroduced last year, still at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City. Tyres for this event are the same as in Austin, namely the Medium, Soft and Supersoft. Prior to the 2015 race, the track had been completely resurfaced and the newly laid asphalt made life tricky last year. At 4.3 kilometres in length, it is one of the shortest tracks on the calendar with its stand-out feature being the section that runs through the grandstand in the stadium.
However, from the cockpit it’s not that noticeable, as Kimi Raikkonen explains: “I don’t think we feel it very much. Obviously you see when you go into the stadium, but there are very tight corners there and you already know there are a lot of people. It was a nice race for the first year. What they did is very nice. Everything worked well. I think it will be interesting to go back there. The circuit was very slippery at the start, but it got better and better during the weekend. It’s always nice to go to new places and I think Mexico was great”. And, even though he’s Finnish, Kimi does not find spicy Mexican food to be daunting:“I like all kinds of food. Spicy food is ok and in Mexico there’s good food. Last year we had a nice event with the football team playing in a massive stadium. I think it was a very nice week.”