Max Verstappen insists he is not overly concerned by the issue that forced him to stop during FP2 for the Mexican Grand Prix after topping the times in both sessions.
Red Bull dominated throughout Friday practice, with Verstappen leading teammate Daniel Ricciardo and the pair enjoying an advantage of more than a second over the rest of the field. Although Verstappen stopped beyond Turn 1 after losing power in the final ten minutes of FP2, he does not expect the issue to have an impact on the rest of his weekend.
“For the moment it’s not [concerning],” Verstappen said of the loss of power. “I think it was a hydraulic failure but we don’t know what it is exactly because the car is still over there. We’ll find out.”
Verstappen has a spare power unit available in his pool if an engine change is required, meaning he would escape a penalty in that scenario.
Comfortably clear of the third-placed Renaults in both sessions, Verstappen says the characteristics of the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City — located at over 2200m (7,200 feet) above sea level — play to Red Bull’s strengths.
“We have a good car. Good downforce, good mechanical grip. We knew that, you could see it already in Monaco of course. Today it worked really well again.
“Of course today’s been really good, but we have to keep on working to try and be better.”
While buoyed by Red Bull’s performance on Friday, Verstappen’s teammate Ricciardo expects Mercedes and Ferrari to hit back in qualifying after being well off the pace.
“It seems with the altitude, everyone’s power seems to be brought together,” Ricciardo said. “We’ll see tomorrow once everyone goes in qualifying. But at least today looking on paper, we looked pretty good. So happy with Friday’s work.
“If it’s between us two [Red Bulls], then it’s going to be exciting. I think Ferrari and Mercedes will join the battle tomorrow, I can’t see us being half a second or whatever we are in front of them. If we are, then I’m happy, but we’ll see.
“I think the key to a quick time tomorrow is a clean lap. It’s still quite slippery around here, and it’s easy to make those mistakes, so probably not overdriving will be helpful.”