Sergio Pérez says it was a difficult first day of running at the Miami International Autodrome on Friday, and his first impressions of the track makes him think it will be hard on Sunday.
Red flags during the afternoon session for Carlos Sainz Jr.’s crash and Nicholas Latifi’s stoppage means a lot of teams will have lost valuable track and set-up time, although the Oracle Red Bull Racing driver finished inside the top four in both Friday sessions.
Pérez says they have an idea of what to do in Qualifying on Saturday, but Sunday might be a trickier, with the Mexican saying they will likely to go into the race ‘blind’ with valuable track and tyre information missing.
“It’s been a difficult day for every driver today,” said Pérez. “I think it was a very messy session this afternoon, in total I did one medium lap and two soft laps.
“On the high fuel there was nothing we could do because of all the red flags and the time we lost. We are basically going blind into the race and I think most people are in the same boat as us. For qualifying we have more of an idea, but things can change very quickly with the weather around here.
“There isn’t much grip off the racing line on this track and it feels very gravely out there too, it is a shame because I think racing will be hard due to that. Saying that, I think it is going to be an interesting race because all of us don’t know exactly where we are.”
“It was not a good day for us” – Max Verstappen
Team-mate and reigning World Champion Max Verstappen did not have the smoothest of days in the other car, with the Dutchman completing only fourteen laps in the morning and just one, very slow lap in the afternoon.
Overheating issues with his RB18 left him compromised him in the morning, but it was even worse in the afternoon as the team rushed to prepare his car, only for him to suffer what appeared to be a hydraulics issue that left him with fiery brakes and a car that he could not steer.
“It was not a good day for us, we wanted to get out there and learn the track and get fully up to speed but things didn’t go to plan,” said Verstappen. “We just had some hydraulic issues, as soon as I went out I couldn’t really steer and also my breaks were on fire, so there were a few problems.
“We don’t have a huge amount of information and data for my car which could prove difficult for qualifying and the race but we will do our best.
“Of course, I will try to catch up tomorrow, we will work very hard as a Team to overcome the issues and hopefully we will be in a good place come qualifying tomorrow.”