Sebastian Vettel reflected on a far from perfect Friday at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, with the German ending up outside the top three in both sessions, with his afternoon running being hampered by his fire extinguisher going off in his car.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver ended the morning session in Mexico down in fifth, 0.762 seconds off the pace of Valtteri Bottas, and although he beat the Finn in the afternoon session, his best lap of 1:18.051s was only good enough for fourth, 0.250 seconds behind Daniel Ricciardo.
Traffic played a big part during both sessions, with Vettel admitting that following other cars makes it difficult to keep up his pace, and heading into Saturday’s Qualifying session, he knows he will have to be ahead of that traffic to be quick.
“This is a day in which we haven’t done it 100% right,” said Vettel. “A fire extinguisher went off in the middle of the run. Initially it just felt like burning, and then it turned out to be very cold, so I had to go back, but we couldn’t recover the time lost.
“This is a short track with a lot of traffic, so it is not ideal. Also, here it is tough to cool the car, the brakes, all the components, so if you are stuck behind someone else, it is quite bad. You want to be ahead of traffic and able to keep your pace.
“I think that keeping the temperatures as low as possible here will be tricky, but whoever succeeds the best will have the strongest pace. The car is quick, I just think it is important to find the right balance”.