FP1 saw a significant improvement in track conditions, with lap times dropping by more than three season on the track surface.
Both drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, used the soft tyre compound during the morning session setting up calibrations to optimise the package for the unusually high-altitude in Mexico City.
Later that afternoon, each driver then used a pair of Hard tyre compound and Soft tyre compound, doing a mix of sprint runs and high-fuel race preparations, with work to be done overnight to enhance the balance.
Bottas comments, "It was a tricky start to the day with low-grip conditions and the dusty track."
He continues, "This made it hard to get a proper read on the car but nevertheless, it felt not too far off how it should be, and that mean we could fine-tune things for FP2. This afternoon, the car felt okay but there’s still time we need to find because Red Bull look quick."
He concludes, "They seem faster than us right now, and they showed strong pace on the Soft tyre on a single lap, so we need to find more time if we want to fight for pole."
Meanwhile, Hamilton comments, "The car’s generally feeling okay and we’ve not had any major issues today – we’re giving it everything we’ve got and Red Bull are just a bit quicker than us right now."
He adds, "We’ve been chipping away at the set-up and trying to improve it, but you can see we are lacking a bit of overall downforce here and that shows in the lap times."
He concludes, "It was great to see lots of people came out today, and I’m looking forward to continuing the battle this weekend."
Splitting the Bulls on Friday in Mexico. 👏 pic.twitter.com/T3U6ubt8ET— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) November 5, 2021