Lewis Hamilton says that the tyre wear at the Mexican Grand Prix is so aggressive that he could end up making three of four pit-stops in the race.
Due to the nature of the track and its high altitude, tyre degradation has been extremely high all weekend, with many driving suffering from graining as a result.
“It’s pretty useless here with the tyres, it feels like we’re going to be doing a three or four stop kind of thing,” Hamilton said. “This place is so aggressive on the tyres.”
“As the tyres are starting to grain, it gets a lot easier to lock the tyres up. One lock up on these things and they’re like 50p coins. It’s rattling your teeth out. Fortunately today I didn’t have any of that, I’ll try to avoid that. ”
Hamilton, who finished the session in P5, went on to say that while Mercedes could fight Red Bull, Ferrari are too far ahead.
“It’s just trying to understand the tyres. It was cool in the morning and a bit warmer in FP2. From the short runs and the long runs, it’s hard to pinpoint how to get these tyres working.
“But that’s the name of the game. We’re not massively off the Red Bulls but the Ferraris – they just keep turning up their engines down the straights.
“The difference between us and them is massive down a straight-line,”
Valtteri Bottas meanwhile, says that the team are further off the pace than what they expected prior to the session.
“It’s bigger than we expected at this point of the weekend, but it’s hopefully not a miracle [for us to] find some gains,” he told Motorsport.com.
“It was pretty slippery today out there, especially the first session was very tricky, with the oversteer-y balance of the car.
“Felt a lot better in the second practice, actually not a bad feeling, but still I think we were lacking a bit of a grip.
“Both Ferrari and Red Bull seem to be performing well on this track so far, but as always, it’s only Friday and there are usually lots of things we can do a little bit better next day, just need to work hard tonight.”