Max Verstappen ended third fastest in both Free Practice sessions at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Friday, and although both sessions saw restricted running, he feels the potential is there for a good weekend.
The Red Bull Racing driver said the team tried out some parts aimed at their 2018 challenger in the morning session, but he said he did not like the feel of them, so it was decided to cut short the test and change the car back to 2017 configuration, which lost him a little momentum.
“The pace of the car seems good, we tried a few new bits for next year this morning to understand them but I didn’t like the feel so we stopped running early,” said Verstappen.
“We lost a bit of momentum and didn’t do as many laps as we would have liked, this also meant we fell a bit behind on set-up. This afternoon we were playing catch-up on achieving a good car balance, we didn’t get it where I wanted it but we were still third before we finished so I think the potential is there.
“Grip is always low here due to the altitude. With the other categories going out later today and laying rubber it should improve the grip as the weekend goes on.”
Despite an MGU-H failure ending his afternoon session, it won’t have any real bearing on the rest of the weekend as it was an old engine, and as a result, the Dutchman is confident of a strong outing in Mexico, particularly as team-mate Daniel Ricciardo ended up fastest of all.
“The day ended with a MGU-H failure but it was an old engine so nothing major to be concerned about looking ahead for the weekend,” said Verstappen. “Daniel’s pace looked good and we were quickest on all compounds which is very positive.
“We still don’t have that extra power for Qualifying but I think we look good to fight for a decent result on Sunday as race pace looks strong.”