Daniil Kvyat says the vast amount of uncertainties makes producing the right strategy calls the biggest challenge for his race in the Mexican Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver says his free practice running struggled to create decisive information on strategies and how long both the soft and medium compound Pirelli tyres are likely to be able to last in race conditions, as he aims to maximise his performance from fourth on the grid.
The Russian driver says the team can be happy with both its cars inside the top five in qualifying – with Ricciardo starting P5 – but says Red Bull has to be realistic about what result it can secure.
“If you look at the season, Mercedes has had the tendency to make this kind of jump from Friday to Saturday, so you hope for the best but the gap is quite big,” Kvyat said. “Nevertheless, P4 and P5 is still a good position for tomorrow's race. You always want to be as close as possible but I think it is all to play for but I wouldn't set to high an objective.
“A good start is going to be very important and it is crucial to have a good first couple of laps to make it a nice clean race and not get stuck behind someone. Obviously the straight is very long so we will have to try to make a good start as we can and maximise our qualifying from today.”
Heading into the first Mexican Grand Prix for 23 years, Kvyat says the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez's new track surface along with the revised layout has left Red Bull with a lot of unknowns. Kvyat feels to secure the best possible result communication and decision making has to be optimised during the race.
“This track is still a bit of an unknown for us at the moment like for everyone else so we have to wait and see how things will behave during the race,” he said. “We will have to get on with what happens in the race and try to make the right calls on the right laps, that will be crucial. This will be the biggest challenge tomorrow.
“Our long runs haven't been very long so I would say it is an open strategy so people have to communicate well with us and make the right updates and right calls. It is going to be important so we can understand how the degradation is and what it is allowing us to do and what it allows us to do during the race.”