FP1 & FP2 - Mexico GP report: Lotus Mercedes
Lotus F1 Team took to the track for a first taste of the revised Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez with Pastor Maldonado and Jolyon Palmer on driving duties in the morning and Pastor and Romain Grosjean in the afternoon. Formula 1 heralded a return to Mexico for the first time since 1992 with a damp but drying morning session where Pirelli’s intermediate then medium compound slick tyres were used, then a dry but dampening afternoon session.
“It’s a fairly distinctive circuit but as always you learn a new layout pretty quickly. I was able to push quite early, even if sometimes you don’t exactly adhere to the correct line whilst you’re learning the limits.”
“It was really frustrating to have a gearbox issue in the middle of my single session today. The circuit is certainly interesting and very well put together and I was enjoying learning it and pushing harder. I’m sure we can get the gearbox sorted and rack-up some more laps ahead of qualifying.”
“It wasn’t a bad day for us and I like the track. The surface was pretty slippery when wet but it was improving rapidly when we got some dry runs in. We had some work to do on balance and braking but the car felt pretty good. I’m looking forward to see how much progress we can make with the car then getting out and pushing hard in qualifying.”
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director
“The latest iteration of the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez certainly gives us an interesting challenge but in terms of facilities and the welcome we’ve received it’s exemplary. We started with a damp track - and a new surface at that - but it wasn’t as slippery as we thought it could be and grip levels improved rapidly. We have a decent amount of work to do refining set-up but we have a strong starting point. Romain suffered from a gearbox issue; we’re looking into it.”