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Practice report
Formula 1 Mexico City GP

F1 Mexico GP: Verstappen tops FP3 as Albon challenges

Red Bull's Max Verstappen fended off Williams' impressive Alex Albon to top third and final practice for Formula 1's Mexico Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

The Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz set the first somewhat representative times on the board in the opening minutes, with Leclerc's 1m19.283s heading his team-mate by 0.166s.

They were soon demoted by Mercedes duo George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, Russell leading with a 1m18.644s while the Red Bulls sat out the opening third of the session.

Gasly suffered a spin on his mediums run as he entered the Foro Sol arena, with an off-track excursion by Yuki Tsunoda in the same corner further proof that grip still came at a premium.

Season dominator Max Verstappen entered the fray after 22 minutes and split the two Mercedes cars with his first flyer, a 1.18.717s less than a tenth behind Russell.

His Mexican Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, who was received with goal-like celebrations by the home crowd every time he passed through the iconic stadium section, opening his account with the sixth-fastest time.

AlphaTauri's Daniel Ricciardo then demoted Perez as he took fourth on medium tyres, six-tenths shy of Russell. The Australian benefitted from a generous tow by team-mate Tsunoda, foreshadowing the prospect of similar team tactics in qualifying.

Right before the halfway mark Verstappen's second effort of 1m18.429s was enough to knock Russell off the top spot by two-tenths, with Perez moving to third, another tenth in arrears.

Alex Albon, Williams FW45

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Alex Albon, Williams FW45

The next salvo of improvements arrived in the final third, led by an impressive 1m17.957s from Williams man Alex Albon, whose team had also been stronger than expected throughout Friday.

Russell's response brought him up to second, but he still had to cede three-tenths to Albon.

It took a solid effort by Verstappen to knock Albon off his perch, the Dutchman claiming the lead with 10 minutes to go.

His lap of 1m17.887s was only 0.070s quicker than Albon, though, as Verstappen complained of traffic on his run.

Perez took third just 0.139s behind Verstappen, followed by Russell, McLaren's Oscar Piastri, Alfa Romeo man Valtteri Bottas and Tsunoda. Lando Norris was up next in eighth for McLaren, ahead of his former team-mate Ricciardo.

Lewis Hamilton was only 10th in the second Mercedes as he appeared puzzled over his six-tenth gap to Verstappen.

The second Williams of Logan Sargeant was 11th followed by the second Alfa of Zhou Guanyu and Aston Martin's Lance Stroll.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Ferrari had a muted session after both Leclerc and Sainz encountered traffic on their final push lap which restricted them to 14th and 15th respectively. Sainz even suffered a spin through the esses as he was blocked by Stroll, appealing for a penalty for the "dangerous" Canadian.

Nico Hulkenberg was 16th for Haas while Aston Martin's struggles continued. Fernando Alonso was a distant 17th followed by Alpine duo Gasly. Kevin Magnussen was 19th after being limited to only one proper run, which was caused by left rear wheel damage.

With only one usable set left, Haas opted to only send the Dane back out near the end of the session.

Esteban Ocon propped up the timesheets in a session in which both Alpines struggled for grip.

Mexico City Grand Prix FP3 results

 
 
       
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Driver # Chassis Engine Laps Time Interval km/h
1 Netherlands M. Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1 Red Bull Red Bull 19

1'17.887

  198.934
2 Thailand A. Albon Williams 23 Williams Mercedes 19

+0.070

1'17.957

0.070 198.755
3 Mexico S. Perez Red Bull Racing 11 Red Bull Red Bull 19

+0.139

1'18.026

0.069 198.579
4 United Kingdom G. Russell Mercedes 63 Mercedes Mercedes 20

+0.361

1'18.248

0.222 198.016
5 Australia O. Piastri McLaren 81 McLaren Mercedes 22

+0.505

1'18.392

0.144 197.652
6 Finland V. Bottas Alfa Romeo 77 Alfa Romeo Ferrari 26

+0.550

1'18.437

0.045 197.539
7 Japan Y. Tsunoda AlphaTauri 22 AlphaTauri Red Bull 26

+0.563

1'18.450

0.013 197.506
8 United Kingdom L. Norris McLaren 4 McLaren Mercedes 21

+0.593

1'18.480

0.030 197.431
9 Australia D. Ricciardo AlphaTauri 3 AlphaTauri Red Bull 15

+0.612

1'18.499

0.019 197.383
10 United Kingdom L. Hamilton Mercedes 44 Mercedes Mercedes 21

+0.635

1'18.522

0.023 197.325
11 United States L. Sargeant Williams 2 Williams Mercedes 15

+0.831

1'18.718

0.196 196.834
12 China Z. Guanyu Alfa Romeo 24 Alfa Romeo Ferrari 21

+1.030

1'18.917

0.199 196.337
13 Monaco C. Leclerc Ferrari 16 Ferrari Ferrari 22

+1.083

1'18.970

0.053 196.206
14 Canada L. Stroll Aston Martin Racing 18 Aston Martin Mercedes 21

+1.207

1'19.094

0.124 195.898
15 Spain C. Sainz Ferrari 55 Ferrari Ferrari 23

+1.406

1'19.293

0.199 195.406
16 Germany N. Hulkenberg Haas F1 Team 27 Haas Ferrari 18

+1.433

1'19.320

0.027 195.340
17 Spain F. Alonso Aston Martin Racing 14 Aston Martin Mercedes 21

+1.584

1'19.471

0.151 194.969
18 France P. Gasly Alpine 10 Alpine Renault 19

+1.622

1'19.509

0.038 194.876
19 Denmark K. Magnussen Haas F1 Team 20 Haas Ferrari 9

+1.686

1'19.573

0.064 194.719
20 France E. Ocon Alpine 31 Alpine Renault 19

+1.952

1'19.839

0.266 194.070

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