Mexico City F1 track's low grip level 'crazy' says Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton described the lack of grip at the revamped Mexico City circuit as "crazy" during Mexican Grand Prix free practice

Mexico City F1 track's low grip level 'crazy' says Lewis Hamilton

F1 cars returned to action at the Mexican venue for the first time since 1992, with the new track surface and a lack of downforce due to the air quality at high altitude giving drivers little grip.

"It's very slippery, it's crazy out there because we're at so-high altitude," said Hamilton, who was fourth quickest on Friday.

"It's way worse grip than we have at Monza, so low.

"We're just sliding around, it's more like a kart track in the slow areas.

"It's like being on marbles, there is so little grip. It's fun though.

"The surface, because it's new, it has no rubber in it. It's getting better and better the more we drive."

Daniel Ricciardo added: "The track was always slippery, so there were many, many mistakes.

"Nearly every lap, you're making a mistake. You hope the grip's there, but it isn't.

"With the altitude we lose downforce - even though we've got more wing than Monza, the actual [downforce] numbers are less."

Sebastian Vettel said the lack of grip made the track slower to drive on than he was expecting.

"I think everybody was struggling to keep the car on the track," said the Ferrari driver.

"It's surprisingly low-speed overall, I was hoping for the fast corners to be a little bit quicker.

"But hopefully with more rubber on the track it will get a little bit better."

Jenson Button said the circuit was improving before rain hit at the end of second practice, and he was positive about the majority of the layout.

"The circuit's gripped-up quite a bit, although obviously it's rained now, which is not so good," said the 2009 world champion.

"I like the fast section - I like every part of the circuit until you get to the stadium.

"It's like doing the Race of Champions in there, it's so tight.

"You can't really unleash the positives of a Formula 1 car.

"I'm sure it's nice for the fans in the stadium, but to drive it's not an enjoyable part.

"But I like the rest of the circuit. Now there's a bit of grip, it's fine."

shares
comments
Mexican GP: Mercedes cooling 'on the edge' after Rosberg brake fire

Previous article

Mexican GP: Mercedes cooling 'on the edge' after Rosberg brake fire

Next article

F1 is set for a clash of the titans

F1 is set for a clash of the titans
Load comments
Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver Plus

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be the making of F1's most overlooked driver

The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Hungarian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph Plus

The “heart-breaking” call that led to Ocon’s Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Plus

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Plus

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Plus

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Plus

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

Formula 1
Jul 28, 2021