After a disappointing Friday, Kimi Räikkönen admitted that Scuderia Ferrari have “work to be done” in order to be competitive at this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.
Free Practice 1 and 2 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez saw Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo and Aston Martin Red Bull Racing stretch their legs in the thin air of Mexico City; with Ferrari, like Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport, unable to get within a second of the pace.
United States Grand Prix winner Räikkönen languished at the bottom of the top ten in both sessions, behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel, in eighth and ninth respectively. In the morning, both Ferraris were over two seconds adrift of Verstappen’s fastest time.
“This track has always been tricky to start with, because of the very low downforce, and today it was no different,” explained Räikkönen.
“It was a normal Friday in Mexico, with very limited grip on the track, so it’s easy to make mistakes and flatspot a tyre.”
In FP1, Räikkönen was caught unawares by the low downforce and dusty track surface, spinning harmlessly on the exit of Turn 6 on the ultra-soft compound. In addition to this, a lock-up of his right front tyre going into Turn 1 spoiled his first fast lap of FP2 on the hyper-soft tyres, but the Finn revealed that the feeling did improve towards the end of the day’s running.
“Because of this, we had a lot of vibrations in the car, which is not ideal, but towards the end it was getting better,” he said.
“How good we are against the others we’ll see tomorrow. For sure we improved through the session, but there is still some work to be done.”