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Formula 1 Mexico City GP

F1 Mexico GP Live Commentary and Updates - FP1 & FP2

Friday's action from the 19th round of the 2023 Formula 1 season.

Max Verstappen and Red Bull may have both championship crowns in the bag already, but there remains plenty to play for in Mexico. 

After seeing his points advantage over Lewis Hamilton grow to 39 points through the Mercedes driver's disqualification in the United States, Sergio Perez will be keen to put on a show for his home fans and solidify his second position in the standings.

Ollie Bearman will make his F1 debut with Haas in the weekend's opening session, standing in for Kevin Magnussen, with Jack Doohan, Frederik Vesti, Theo Pourchaire and Isack Hadjar featuring for Alpine, Mercedes, Alfa Romeo and AlphaTauri respectively. 

FP1 will get under way at 19:30pm BST with FP2 at 23:00pm BST. 

 

By: Sam Hall, James Newbold

Summary
  • Max Verstappen leads FP2 timesheets over Lando Norris, completing a Friday clean sweep after edging Alex Albon in FP1
  • Fernando Alonso survives lurid spin without damage, but brings up the rear in 20th on a difficult Friday for Aston Martin as Lance Stroll is hampered by issues with his left-front wheel 
  • Rain fell in the closing stages of FP2 to limit further improvements
  • Pirelli completes prototype C4 tyre testing to evaluate tweaks for 2024
  • Oliver Bearman, Frederik Vesti and Isack Hadjar complete first F1 weekend test mileage as fellow F2 racers Jack Doohan and Theo Pourchaire also log rookie laps
Leaderboard
  1. Max Verstappen - Red Bull
  2. Lando Norris - McLaren
  3. Charles Leclerc - Ferrari
  4. Valtteri Bottas - Alfa Romeo
  5. Sergio Perez - Red Bull
  6. Daniel Ricciardo - AlphaTauri
  7. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes
  8. Esteban Ocon - Alpine
  9. Oscar Piastri - McLaren
  10. George Russell - Mercedes
Status: Stopped
Thank you for joining us on the live text today, as we kicked off the Mexico Grand Prix weekend. We'll be back for more tomorrow with FP3 (for the first time since Suzuka given the recent run of sprint events) and qualifying as we build up to the Grand Prix on Sunday. Will we get a first non-Verstappen win in Mexico since 2019? Tomorrow will give us some clues to find out. See you then!
In case you missed any of FP2's action, here's the full report as Max Verstappen enjoyed a business-as-usual Friday to head Lando Norris: https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/f1-mexico-gp-fp2-report/10538921/
With the benefit of an extra session compared to his team-mate as a caveat, it was a strong day for Ricciardo who ended Friday in sixth as Tsunoda finished 12th. Of those who had to give up their cars for FP1, only Bottas was quicker than his team-mate.
Only 17 laps completed in that session for Lance Stroll, we understand, is due to a problem he had with his left-front wheel. The Aston driver completed the fewest laps of anybody in FP2, half as many as Sainz and Tsunoda with the most on 34.
Bottas wasn't exactly keen to give up his track position and even tried to fend off Verstappen around the outside. We like to see a bit of fight, but not too sure it was worth the aggro for all concerned at the end of FP2.
Meanwhile on track there was an enjoyable exchange down into Turn 1 between Bottas and Verstappen, with the latter's engineer Gianpiero Lambiase noting that the Finn "even used DRS" in his efforts to stay ahead. "Unbelievable," he adds, while the treble world champion simply laughs.
Sainz has reported that his left mirror is cracked. How does that happen?
Verstappen therefore completes a Friday clean sweep of both FP1 and FP2, seeing out Norris by 0.119s in FP2 after he'd seen off Alex Albon by 0.095s earlier on.
However nobody is setting times that look remotely close to improvements, as the checkered flag comes out to bring FP2 to a close.
Both Red Bulls and Piastri have taken softs for the dying minutes of the session.
Adding together the possible best sector times, you get a 1m18.619s which is only a shade better than the 1m18.686s set by pacesetter Verstappen. Hulkenberg through sector one and Hamilton through sector three were quicker, but as usual the Red Bull is the strongest overall.
Stroll and Magnussen have returned to the pits, and aren't going to improve on their times it seems.
Track temperatures have dropped by 5.6 °C since the start of the session, and are now at 32.1 °C.
Stroll and Magnussen have now switched to softs. The pair are 18th and 19th in the timesheets.
With its two cars in 18th and 20th, it's not been an encouraging session for Aston Martin with Alonso bringing up the rear after his earlier spin. It could have been worse though, had the Spaniard not expertly gathered up his rotating mount and avoided a costly altercation with the barriers.
As cars continue to circulate in increasingly murky, difficult conditions it seems clear that the timesheets will be locked in place with Verstappen ahead of Norris, Leclerc and Bottas as you top four.
Norris and Hamilton are the two fastest drivers on track at the moment lapping in the 1m22s bracket. Of course, we have no idea at this stage what fuel levels they're running.
Russell is informed that the rain may get heavier in intensity in the next five to ten minutes.
Sargeant informs his engineer that it's now raining out on the track. Everybody is currently running either the medium or hard tyres.
The skies are definitely a little more overcast over the venue where Michael Schumacher took his first Group C win for Mercedes in 1990.
Like Alonso, Verstappen is running several seconds off his best soft times with mediums as it appears the quali sim runs have concluded for the time being.
Alonso is informed to expect rain in around 10 or 12 laps. Since his earlier rotation on softs he's taken on another set of mediums.
Fourth for Bottas in the Alfa is pretty good going after his car's troubled day, just 0.261s down on Verstappen as things stand. Can he keep it at the sharp end as the times continue to tumble?
As Leclerc slides into third and Bottas into fourth, Perez has a big moment in the final corner when his left-hand wheels traverse the white line. It's a big old wobble for the Mexican hero, but he gathers it up without pancaking the wall.
To paraphrase Murray Walker, with half of the session gone there's still half of the session to go!
Ricciardo briefly pops up into third, but is shuffled back a spot by Perez as Sainz clocks a subdued ninth fastest on the softs.
Tsunoda is the only driver out on track at the moment not using the softs. Remember, he has little to gain from running them given he'll be starting at the back anyway, and is making up for lost time after sitting out FP1 on the mediums.
Hamilton meanwhile clocks in third fastest ahead of Ocon in fourth. Hulkenberg goes purple in sector one, but can only muster seventh, behind Piastri and Albon.
Verstappen now has a set of softs and resumes his position at the head of the timesheets on a 1m18.685s. Norris follows him across the line and is just 0.119s slower to slot into second.
Sargeant's first effort on the softs included striking one of the floppy corner markers at the chicane in the first sector, and he ended up half a second down on his team-mate in eighth.
Albon goes second on his first flyer with softs, a 1m19.466s, but Alonso won't be joining him at the sharp end after a huge spin at Turn 9 that he does well to gather without harpooning his Aston Martin into the wall.