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Commentary

F1 Mexican Grand Prix Live Commentary and Updates - FP1 & FP2

Live commentary and updates on Friday practice for Formula 1's Mexican Grand Prix at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

By: Megan White, Jake Boxall-Legge

Summary

  • F1 Mexico City GP FP2 is now complete
  • Verstappen leads session from Bottas, Hamilton
  • Perez fourth, half-a-second clear of Sainz
  • Bottas led FP1 from Hamilton and Verstappen 
Leaderboard
  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Bottas, Mercedes
  3. Hamilton, Mercedes
  4. Perez, Red Bull
  5. Sainz, Ferrari
  6. Gasly, AlphaTauri
  7. Leclerc, Ferrari
  8. Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
  9. Vettel, Aston Martin
  10. Alonso, Alpine
Status: Stopped
With that we shall bid you all a good evening. FP3 gets underway at 5pm GMT (11am local time) tomorrow, so be sure to check back then for all of the action from Mexico. Adiós!
Need a recap on what's just happened over the last hour? Look no further: https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/mexican-f1-gp-fp2-report/6749587/
 
Sainz duly leads the runners behind the top two teams from Gasly, Leclerc, Tsunoda and Vettel. But it is mighty close.
There's the FP2 chequered flag. Verstappen will take the headlines ahead of Bottas, Hamilton and home hero Perez.
Both Mercedes drivers have switched to the hard tyres for these last few laps to get all that long run data goodness to digest overnight.
The 18 cars on the track are completing the last of the long runs with just a couple of minutes of FP2 to go. Any late gamblers for glory?
Ricciardo has joined Russell in a watching brief for the rest of this session as he pops up on the McLaren pitwall. He has completed just seven laps this session.
Latifi's moment has seen both Perez and Leclerc lose a lap each under the double yellow flag rule. I doubt they will lose much sleep over it.
Latifi almost comes a cropper at Turn 16 when the rear of his Williams steps out of line, but he slams on the brakes to stop just before the barrier. The Canadian engages reverse and is able to get going again. No harm done.
Get Alonso to the T20 Cricket World Cup, because that's a super catch. The Alpine driver gets it sideways between Turns 8 and 9 but controls the slide to keep his car facing the right way.
Plenty of practice starts to begin the race runs up and down the grid, with both Red Bulls opting for the mediums and both Mercedes are on the softs. Interesting stuff.
With just under 20 minutes to go in this session it looks like the soft tyre quali-style runs are over, with long runs now the order of the day.
 
Sainz on the softs moves up to fifth place with a 1m18.318s. Ferrari looking in good shape against their nearest rivals McLaren with Norris in P11 and Ricciardo in P14 in this session.
Bottas, who completed his first soft tyre run much earlier than the rest, goes for another quick lap to move up to second place with a 1m17.725s. That's still 0.424s off Verstappen's leading effort, which is quite a lot.
Perez has split the Mercedes pair to go third with a 1m17.871s. Further back Gasly leads the best of the rest field in fifth place, a tenth and a bit quicker than Sainz and Leclerc.
Here's the latest from Williams on Russell's issue: "No connection [to the loose screw problem]. We found an internal gearbox issue so are investigating now. Unfortunately George won’t be back out."
Verstappen, on the softs, extends his advantage at the top of the times with a 1m17.301s. He's got a 0.509s gap on Hamilton who set his lap, also on the softs, just ahead of him.
Mazepin will be off to see the stewards after FP2 for an incident at Turn 8. TV replays showed the Russian going wide at the corner and rather than backing off he got on the power and came mighty close to the wall.
Russell is out of his Williams racing suit and making his way to the pitwall, so it is safe to say that is his session over.
Classic driver stopping at wrong pitbox incident, as Vettel stops outside McLaren before being waved on to his Aston Martin garage one place on. His excuse? One of his mechanics was too attractive and distracted him. Oh Seb.
 
Bottas, who also had a lock-up at Turn 1 earlier in FP2, moves up to second place with his first timed lap on the softs, putting in a 1m18.032s, to go just 0.112s off Verstappen.
Looking to the action on the track, Tsunoda has popped up to second place on the soft tyres with a 1m18.644s. That's still some 0.7s off Verstappen's earlier effort.
TV replays caught Russell's engine cover still being fastened on the car when he left the garage. It is not clear if that was related to his gearbox issue - seems unlikely - but at least they can sort that out with the car back earlier than expected.
"The gearbox has gone... oh wait, it is back," Russell radios to his Williams squad, as he is then told not to change gear and limp back to the pits. As it'll be a Friday gearbox it shouldn't follow any further drama as he gets back to the garage.
This is turning into a messy session for Hamilton. He has heavily locked up his front tyres under braking into Turn 1 and runs over the grass. This time he rejoins the track at Turn 2 in the proper place, unlike his FP1 reprimand.
Verstappen dips into the 1m17s to extend his gap at the top on team-mate Perez. Verstappen's 1m17.920s puts him 0.7s clear.
Ah, not for long as Hamilton loses his lap for setting his time under waved double yellow flags. Tsunoda also lost his lap for the same reason.
Hamilton offers a hand in protest to Raikkonen after getting blocked by the Finn for a second time in this session. But the Mercedes driver has moved up to P3 with a 1m18.779s.
Stroll has gone wide and off track at Turn 12, twice on consecutive laps, but avoids any serious worries while kicking up some dust.
Out of those that have got a lap in so far, Verstappen leads the way with a 1m18.818s on mediums. Hamilton duly got balked on his first flying lap so is yet to provide a representative time.

What's not so welcome is the car park that has become the baseball stadium section of the track with drivers backing up to find a gap to start a timed lap. "This is insane," Hamilton says over his radio.

Perez gets his customary wall of noise from the home fans on his out-lap. He's one popular compadre.

                                                                 

Plenty of early action in FP2 with 16 cars on track already. Only Vettel, Latifi, Gasly and Russell opting not to head out yet.
Green light! Here we go for FP2.
The team-to-race-director radio chat confirms oil has been spilled at Turn 12 during a support race between FP1 and FP2. "It has all been cleaned up as much as possible but we'll keep the slippery surface flags out for the start," Masi announces.
60 minutes of free practice coming up to complete Friday's action. Conditions are dry, bright and warm. Lovely.
 

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