Romain Grosjean says that driving around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on hypersoft tyres was like "driving in the wet". The pink-walled tyre offered little grip to the teams on Friday in Mexico City with the tyre degrading rapidly after only a couple of laps.
The high track temperatures and low grip surface made for a tricky day of running, which left a jumbled classification order at the end of FP2. Both Mercedes and Ferrari struggled, while Red Bull revelled and saw its closest competition come from the Renault team.
"I think it was raining at one point," Grosjean joked after the opening day in Mexico. "It was very, very difficult. Over one quali lap it is always a decent tyre, but whenever you want to do a long run, you do three laps, and then it is like driving in the wet."
Grosjean's teammate Kevin Magnussen also suffered from the tyre difficulties. Despite setting 35 laps during the second session, the Dane ended up as the slowest driver. The Haas racer stated that the biggest task was simply trying to stay on the road.
"The tyres were very difficult," he said. "I didn’t get a lap on my hypersofts until the last lap of the run which by that time I couldn’t go faster any more. We are not last but we are certainly not as competitive as we want to be. On low-fuel it’s one story but on high-fuel it’s a completely different story.
"You’re just driving around, trying to stay on the road. You’re not racing, you’re trying to get around the lap rather than trying to go fast because you don’t have any grip. You might as well be driving in the dry on wet tyres. I don’t know why it’s so bad on this track but it’s certainly a big problem."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing