Lewis Hamilton said Red Bull are “definitely too quick for us” after the first day of practice for the Mexico City Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen set the pace in the second practice session for the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. He lapped over four-tenths of a second faster than the quickest Mercedes, driven by Valtteri Bottas, while Hamilton was half a second adrift.
Hamilton said the balance of his car felt good, but the lap time deficit to their main rivals was clear to see.
“The car’s generally been feeling okay,” said Hamilton. “I’ve not really had any major issues.
“I think we were giving it absolutely everything we’ve got. It was just they’re just quicker than us at the moment.
“I’ve got no real concerns, just chipping away at our set-up and trying to improve it. We’re lacking downforce which is probably why they had a half-a-second difference to us.”
Bottas agreed Red Bull “definitely seem quicker today, at least on the single lap.”
“They had really strong pace on the soft tyre. So we need to find a bit of time if we want to fight for the pole,” he said.
However he was satisfied with the progress Mercedes made as the track conditions improved rapidly on a circuit which was very dusty when practice began.
“Starting the day it was quite tricky with the low grip, it was a really dusty track and that’s why it was quite difficult to get a proper read on how the car actually is. But I felt it was not far off how it should be and we could really fine-tune for practice two and actually it didn’t feel too bad.
“But there’s still definitely time we need to find because Red Bull seems a bit quick.”
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