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

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Flag   Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:16.656 19
2 Flag   Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:17.139 0.483 19
3 Flag   Carlos Sainz Renault 1:17.926 1.270 20
4 Flag   Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:18.028 1.372 21
5 Flag   Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:18.075 1.419 23
6 Flag   Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:18.322 1.666 27
7 Flag   Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:18.746 2.090 17
8 Flag   Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:18.936 2.280 22
9 Flag   Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:19.024 2.368 29
10 Flag   Nicholas Latifi RP Force India 1:19.078 2.422 23
11 Flag   Sergio Perez RP Force India 1:19.124 2.468 29
12 Flag   Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber 1:19.134 2.478 25
13 Flag   Romain Grosjean Haas 1:19.276 2.620 26
14 Flag   Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:19.312 2.656 28
15 Flag   Lando Norris McLaren 1:19.646 2.990 23
16 Flag   Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:19.716 3.060 29
17 Flag   Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:19.853 3.197 28
18 Flag   Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1:19.899 3.243 30
19 Flag   Lance Stroll Williams 1:20.142 3.486 26
20 Flag   Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 2