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Formula 1 Mexico City GP

F1 Mexico GP: Verstappen completes Friday clean sweep; Norris P2

Max Verstappen made it a clean sweep of practice sessions at Formula 1’s 2023 Mexican Grand Prix, Red Bull’s Dutchman finishing ahead of Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc in FP2. 

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

After Daniel Ricciardo, Norris, Verstappen and Alex Albon had enjoyed brief spells in the top spot during the opening quarter of the one-hour session, Verstappen seized it again with a 1m19.511s set on the standard 2023 Pirelli C4 mediums rather than the prototype variety he had started on before pitting to get a visor tear-off removed from his rear suspension. 

That stood as the benchmark for the remainder of the early laps the field completed on the hard, medium and prototype mediums, with Oscar Piastri then leading the switch to softs a few minutes past the one-third distance. 

He duly blitzed to the top spot with a 1m19.163s on the red-walled rubber, with most of the rest of the field also taking that compound for qualifying simulation runs over the next 10 minutes. 

Alonso then had the session’s most dramatic moment shortly before the halfway point when he spun out of Turn 9 with 25 minutes on the board. 

In that incident, Alonso ran too hard over the inside kerbs of the rapid left-hander and the rear came around so severely he was spun completely around, pirouetting across the full duration of the short straight leading down to Turn 10. 

Albon slotted in behind Piastri before both were demoted by others going quicker – led by Verstappen’s 1m18.686s set just after Alonso’s spin, with Norris coming in 0.119s behind in his wake. 

Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez initially failed to beat his personal best set early in FP2 while running the prototype mediums, before he climbed up the order with a 1m18.988s that was 0.302s off the pace. 

Perez was then demoted by Valtteri Bottas and Charles Leclerc, who took third as one of the last drivers bar the Aston Martin pair to set a time on the softs. 

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

With heavy clouds rolling in above the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez – rain having lashed down overnight in Mexico City and a few spots falling over the final corners and pitlane early in FP2 – the pack switched to the typical closing-FP2 high-fuel long runs.  

During this, the rain returned with just over 15 minutes remaining – initially at a light intensity before coming down ever more steadily in the final minutes, although not to a point where the field had to consider pitting or switching to intermediates. 

The Aston pair not completing a soft tyre run meant the top five places went untouched to the end, with Ricciardo ending up sixth ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who posted the quickest time in the final sector on his qualifying simulation effort but ending up 0.338s behind Verstappen. 

Esteban Ocon took eighth ahead of Piastri, with George Russell rounding out the top 10 ahead of Carlos Sainz – the pair lacking laps in FP1 with Frederik Vesti having driven Russell’s W13 in the opening session and Sainz losing time there due to a hydraulics failure issue that stopped the power steering working aboard his Ferrari

Lance Stroll completed the fewest laps of all due to a problem on the left-front wheel on his Aston confining him to the pits for most of FP2’s second half, with Alonso finishing down in 20th, two places behind his team-mate, as he switched to long-running after his qualifying simulation effort was lost to his spin. 

Albon returned to the pits ahead of the final five minutes so Williams could inspect his car after a piece of underfloor aerodynamics began trailing along the floor as the session’s end approached. 

He did not go out again and ended up 14th in the standings, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, who registered the session’s quickest time in the first sector on his soft tyre run, before fading to finish 0.849s off Verstappen, most of that time shipped in the track’s middle segment.

Mexico City Grand Prix FP2 results

 
 
       
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Driver # Chassis Engine Laps Time Interval km/h
1 Netherlands M. Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1 Red Bull Red Bull 26

1'18.686

  196.914
2 United Kingdom L. Norris McLaren 4 McLaren Mercedes 31

+0.119

1'18.805

0.119 196.616
3 Monaco C. Leclerc Ferrari 16 Ferrari Ferrari 33

+0.266

1'18.952

0.147 196.250
4 Finland V. Bottas Alfa Romeo 77 Alfa Romeo Ferrari 33

+0.269

1'18.955

0.003 196.243
5 Mexico S. Perez Red Bull Racing 11 Red Bull Red Bull 29

+0.302

1'18.988

0.033 196.161
6 Australia D. Ricciardo AlphaTauri 3 AlphaTauri Red Bull 31

+0.316

1'19.002

0.014 196.126
7 United Kingdom L. Hamilton Mercedes 44 Mercedes Mercedes 30

+0.338

1'19.024

0.022 196.072
8 France E. Ocon Alpine 31 Alpine Renault 29

+0.391

1'19.077

0.053 195.940
9 Australia O. Piastri McLaren 81 McLaren Mercedes 31

+0.477

1'19.163

0.086 195.727
10 United Kingdom G. Russell Mercedes 63 Mercedes Mercedes 31

+0.541

1'19.227

0.064 195.569
11 Spain C. Sainz Ferrari 55 Ferrari Ferrari 34

+0.571

1'19.257

0.030 195.495
12 Japan Y. Tsunoda AlphaTauri 22 AlphaTauri Red Bull 34

+0.604

1'19.290

0.033 195.414
13 China Z. Guanyu Alfa Romeo 24 Alfa Romeo Ferrari 27

+0.729

1'19.415

0.125 195.106
14 Thailand A. Albon Williams 23 Williams Mercedes 23

+0.760

1'19.446

0.031 195.030
15 Germany N. Hulkenberg Haas F1 Team 27 Haas Ferrari 29

+0.849

1'19.535

0.089 194.812
16 France P. Gasly Alpine 10 Alpine Renault 29

+0.956

1'19.642

0.107 194.550
17 United States L. Sargeant Williams 2 Williams Mercedes 26

+1.214

1'19.900

0.258 193.922
18 Canada L. Stroll Aston Martin Racing 18 Aston Martin Mercedes 17

+1.389

1'20.075

0.175 193.498
19 Denmark K. Magnussen Haas F1 Team 20 Haas Ferrari 30

+1.426

1'20.112

0.037 193.409
20 Spain F. Alonso Aston Martin Racing 14 Aston Martin Mercedes 30

+1.740

1'20.426

0.314 192.654

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