Max Verstappen comfortably tops Mexican GP FP1
Red Bull's Max Verstappen outlined his credentials for a second straight Mexico victory by comfortably leading the way during a low-grip first practice session on Friday.
Drivers struggled for grip at the dusty high-altitude Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and it was Verstappen who clocked the best time, posting a lap of 1:16.656 aboard his RB14.
The Dutchman used Hypersofts to record his pacesetting time and fell just 0.061s short of improving on his benchmark as he undertook a second push lap on the same set of tyres.
Daniel Ricciardo ensured it was a 1-2 for Red Bull as he finished 0.483s down on his team-mate.
Renault emerged as the second-best team, having also used the Hypersofts for its best times, with Carlos Sainz Jr. and Nico Hulkenberg third and fourth, the Spaniard 1.2s behind his former Toro Rosso partner.
Mercedes and Ferrari both clocked their best efforts on the Ultrasoft compound.
That left World Champion elect Lewis Hamilton fifth, 1.4s behind Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas sixth, with Sebastian Vetel and Kimi Raikkonen seventh and eighth respectively.
Raikkonen was the only driver to spin during the session as he rotated his Ferrari SF71H through the Turn 6 hairpin.
Brendon Hartley, running Honda’s Spec 2 power unit, was ninth, and was one of several drivers to complain about the state of the Hypersoft tyres after completing a longer run.
Force India test driver Nicholas Latifi completed the top 10, narrowly ahead of home favourite Sergio Perez, while Sauber reserve and 2019 racer Antonio Giovinazzi took 12th.
Romain Grosjean was 13th, in front of outgoing Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson, while McLaren tester Lando Norris took 15th and narrowly avoided a late collision with Latifi.
Norris drifted wide through Turn 9 and had to heavily lock both tyres in order to avoid a clash with Latifi, who had run off-line in anticipation of the Briton completing a hot lap.
Stoffel Vandoorne was 16th, as Kevin Magnussen and Williams duo Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll completed the timed runners.
Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly did not set a timed lap during the session, completing only two installation laps, and has already received a 15-place grid penalty for taking on fresh power unit components.
Friday’s 90-minute practice session is scheduled for 14:00 local time
Mexico - Practice 1
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:16.656||19|
|2||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:17.139||0.483||19|
|9||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso||1:19.024||2.368||29|
|10||Nicholas Latifi||RP Force India||1:19.078||2.422||23|
|11||Sergio Perez||RP Force India||1:19.124||2.468||29|
|20||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||2|