Alfa Romeo Racing drivers Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi had a difficult day at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez on Friday, in the first two practice sessions for the Mexican Grand Prix this weekend.
Räikkönen put himself thirteenth on the timing sheets for the first session, running 22 laps and setting a 1:19.205 personal best.
In the second session, he finished fourteenth, his best time a 1:38.688, out of a total of 37 laps.
Räikkönen’s Italian team-mate, rookie driver Giovinazzi, faired slightly better in the first session, finishing tenth. He set a personal best of 1:18.959, running 22 laps.
Räikkönen noted that it was difficult to find the areas of the circuit with grip, as he thought it isn’t used for anything than the Formula 1 race each year.
“It wasn’t very easy to find the grip out on track, but it has always been like this here in Mexico. The altitude obviously affects the handling of the car and the surface of the track is quite dirty, as I don’t think the circuit really gets used much apart from us,” he said.
The Finn added now Friday has come to a close, they have completed their programme and will not be turning their attention to qualifying and the race.
“We had a busy Friday, we focused on our programme and now we will need to get the best possible car ready for tomorrow.”
Giovinazzi also said he had a tricky day as the track was lacking grip, especially in the first session.
“It’s been a tricky Friday. The track was very difficult, especially in Free Practice 1, and there was very little grip. We struggled a bit in Free Practice 2 but my qualifying run was not the best, so the times are not really representative.”
He added that the did a considerable of high fuel running to see how it affected the tyres, but realised the real test will be their qualifying performance, that being what the team are turning their attention to.
“We did a lot of laps on high fuel to understand how the tyres behave, but the real picture of where we stand will only appear tomorrow.
“It’s important to get a good qualifying position here so that’s what we will focus on now, then we will see what happens,” he concluded.