Nico Rosberg took out his frustrations on the track here on Friday, when he set the fastest time in the afternoon practice session as he warmed up for Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix.
Rosberg, who complained about his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton being too aggressive in last weekend’s race in Austin, overcame difficult conditions to post a soft-tyre run of 1min 21.531sec.
The Red Bull pair of Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo were next, with Hamilton – who often hit traffic problems – fourth and then the Ferrari team of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.
Max Verstappen of Toro Rosso, who was fastest in the morning run, lasted less than five minutes in the afternoon, sliding into a barrier on Turn 16.
It was the first time there had been F1 action at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez since 1992 and conditions were described by Vettel as “ridiculously slippery”.
As well as the dampness caused by the rain the track’s freshly laid asphalt made it particularly tricky for the drivers, with speeds up because of the high altitude. Some drivers topped 220mph. The drivers started the day on intermediate tyres because of the overnight rain.
Verstappen, who said conditions were “like oil”, was quickest by three tenths of a second in the morning and set his time as conditions improved late in the session. Behind him came Kvyat, Raikkonen and Vettel. There was a great deal of support for the local hero Sergio Pérez, who was ninth,
At the end of the first session Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was given a reprimand for crossing the white pit-lane entry line. It was his second reprimand of the season and he faces a 10-place grid penalty if there is a third.
It was also an unhappy morning for McLaren’s Jenson Button, who finished 19th and had to have an engine change, which means he will face a 50-place grid penalty on Sunday.
This article was written by Paul Weaver in Mexico City, for theguardian.com on Friday 30th October 2015 22.29 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010