Formula 1 championship leader Max Verstappen finished comfortably clear of the pack during second practice for the Mexico City Grand Prix.
Verstappen, a two-time winner at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, clocked a time of 1:17.301s as drivers carried out runs on Soft tyres on Friday afternoon.
Verstappen’s effort left him 0.424s clear of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas, with title rival Lewis Hamilton over half a second adrift in third place.
Local hero Sergio Perez completed the leading quartet in fourth place, within a tenth of a second of Hamilton, but almost six-tenths adrift of team-mate Verstappen.
Ferrari holds upper hand over McLaren
Ferrari and McLaren have been locked in a tight battle for third in the championship and on Friday the Italian marque held the advantage.
Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc classified fifth and seventh respectively, split by AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, while McLaren had neither driver inside the top 10.
Lando Norris was only able to finish 12th overall while Daniel Ricciardo was down in 15th spot after a gearbox issue scuppered his programme.
Yuki Tsunoda, who will start from the back of the grid due to a new engine, capped an encouraging day for AlphaTauri in eighth place, as Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso rounded out the top 10.
Alfa Romeo in the midfield mix
Alfa Romeo has endured a difficult campaign, holding only ninth in the standings, and it is poised to enter 2022 with a fresh line-up.
Off the back of narrow points misses in Turkey and the United States it put itself in the mix in the midfield on Friday, with Kimi Räikkönen 11th and Antonio Giovinazzi 13th.
Its encouraging day was in contrast to fortunes at regular 2021 opponents Williams.
George Russell completed only two laps in the session owing to a gearbox problem in his Williams FW43B.
Russell circulated slowly, stuck in fifth gear, before returning to the pits, bringing his session to a premature conclusion.
Nicholas Latifi, meanwhile, was only 18th, a second behind nearest opponent Lance Stroll, and in front of only Haas’ Nikita Mazepin.
Saturday’s second practice session is scheduled for 11:00 local time
1:17.301 28 2
Carlos Sainz Jr
Leave a Reply