Hamilton: You never know with this car...

Hamilton: You never know with this car…

Hamilton: You never know with this car...

Lewis Hamilton is not sure how his Mexican Grand Prix weekend will go after a solid start on Friday, claiming you never know how the W13 will behave from one day to the other.

Lewis Hamilton was best of the rest behind the Ferraris and the Red Bulls in FP1, and was fourth fastest in the unrepresentative FP2 allocated for tyre testing.

Despite having a good initial feel from his W13, Hamilton is wary of its mood swings over the course of the weekend; he said: “I had a good session today, so generally feel good about our performance so far.

“I really enjoyed driving around the track, because the car is feeling better and better as we learn to understand it in more detail,” he added. “The tyre test in FP2 we used to get as much practice in as possible.

“I don’t know yet where exactly we stand compared to other teams, because everyone was running different programmes and I try to mainly focus on my own programme.

“The 2023 tyres seem very similar to the current ones, maybe a little bit more consistent on the long runs and easier to manage in terms of overheating.

“Of course, we will do plenty of work tonight, to see if we can compete with the front, but you never know with this car how the rest of the weekend will go, but I hope we are able to continue to build on our positive conclusion from today,” the seven-time Formula 1 Champion concluded.

George Russell targeting a podium

George Russell handed over his car in FP1 for team reserve, and AlphaTauri-bound Nyck de Vries, but was the fastest driver on Pirelli’s prototype tyres in FP2.

He said at the end of Friday’s running: “Today was one of our better Fridays, if not the best of the year so far – the car is working well and it felt good driving on this track.

“The pace was relatively strong, but we know the challenges at this circuit. For qualifying, the difficulty will be to get the tyres in the right window for the single lap run. And on Sunday, it will be difficult to manage temperatures for the engine and for the brakes,” he explained.

“A podium finish should hopefully be possible for us this weekend, so that’s what we will be aiming for,” Russell claimed. “Not having the normal FP2 running, where we get to assess the long run performance of our rivals, doesn’t allow us to understand where our competitors are and that can become a big challenge if we will struggle with tyre temperatures during the race.

“We take some very useful learnings about tyre temperature management for next year and will be working hard overnight as it’s not going to be a straightforward weekend for sure, but positive learnings for us today,” the young Briton concluded.

Nyck de Vries’ farewell session with Mercedes

Nyck de Vries who drove for Mercedes FP1 which would be his final outing with the Silver Arrows, and reflected: “I enjoyed the session and driving the car, we did a good job in FP1.

“We ran a bit of a different programme today, focused on developments for next year and I’m happy with my performance, feeling more and more comfortable in the F1 environment.

“It was also a very emotional session for me, as it marks the end of my time in the car for the team. But I’m happy, as we ended it well and we had a great time working together.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity Mercedes has given me, allowing me to learn a lot and build relationships within the team and now I’m looking forward to the next chapter,” the Dutchman concluded.