Vettel Optimistic for Qualifying after Top Draw Ferrari Friday

Usually, Friday running is disregarded because there aren’t any points available. But the FP1 and FP2 does offer insight into how teams are getting on with set-up and momentum can be built. 

Earlier in the week, Sebastian Vettel said that the paddock’s lack of experience around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez might give Ferrari the opportunity to do a bit better this weekend. The German driver has topped FP2 since as Ferrari emerge as the surprise challenger to Mercedes.

After the session, he said,

Overall it was a good day: the car seems to work, not only judging from the result but also as an overall feeling. The pace was there not only for one lap, but for all the laps we have completed.

Also, we were always ahead of schedule leaving the garage, which is not always the case. For sure it is nice to be first in the time sheets, but this doesn’t mean anything on Friday. If we are in the same position tomorrow afternoon, then we can be happy.

Anyway, I felt that I was in Mexico city, not on the race track, with all the traffic! I think everybody was fighting with the same problems, trying to make the tyres last, especially the Supersofts.”

– Sebastian Vettel

Kimi Raikkonen finished FP2 in 4th, two-tenths quicker than the fastest Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo. The pace is promising and the team will be hoping this trend continues in FP3 and Qualifying later.

It wasn’t all positive for Vettel and Ferrari after an on-track mishap in FP2 saw Vettel disturbed by a coasting Alonso whilst he attempted to complete a flying lap. Always an obtuse vocalist over the radio, Vettel called the Spanish veteran an idiot in the heat of the moment. Alonso has since forgiven him, and said,

“I’m sure there is a very great frustration on his and Ferrari’s part, so he is forgiven.”

– Fernando Alonso