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Vettel expecting 'big jumps' as teams understand Pirelli tyres in Mexico

Written by  Oct 27, 2018

Sebastian Vettel does expect teams like Ferrari and Mercedes who uncharacteristically struggled during Friday practice to make progress after tyre problems in Mexico.

The Hypersoft compound was barely lasting a few laps around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez as temperatures rose and drivers struggled for grip on a dusty track in the thinner air at high altitude.

Often drifting through the corners in the second and third sectors as well as locking up at the end of the long straights in the first, Vettel was only fourth fastest behind the leading Red Bulls and one-thousandth shy of Carlos Sainz's Renault.

“I don’t think we had a tidy lap,” said the German post-session. “We should’ve been in front of the Renaults."

Mercedes' problems were even worse with Lewis Hamilton only seventh, however, Vettel does think enough will be done to put Mercedes and Ferrari back near the top.

“The difficulty is you don’t have any grip, so we’re sliding a lot. If you don’t have any grip and downforce because the air’s so thin, you don’t get the tyres to work and when the tyres don’t work it’s really tricky," he explained.

“So that’s why I think sometimes you can see quite big jumps in lap time. If you don’t get it right then you’re quite far off the pace. I think everybody still has something to step up tomorrow.

“The key will be the tyres. If you have four km/h more in a straight line I don’t think that will be detrimental, but it will be much more important to get the tyres in the right window because then around here you can easily get two, three, four, five tenths. Quite a lot of lap time.”

Also continuing is Ferrari's effort to find upgrades which produce the desired results as another test of a new floor first used in Austin again didn't perform as expected.

“It was an interesting morning,” Vettel said. “We learned a lot and we’re sticking to the old package.”

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