Mexican GP: Max Verstappen quickest in practice one for Toro Rosso

Max Verstappen set the pace for Toro Rosso in practice one as Formula 1 began its first Mexican Grand Prix weekend in 23 years

Mexican GP: Max Verstappen quickest in practice one for Toro Rosso

The teenager clocked a 1m25.990s late in the session as the track conditions improved to finish 0.305 seconds clear of Daniil Kvyat's Red Bull, with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen third.

Verstappen's time raised eyebrows in the pitlane as he had gone off course in the esses section on the way to setting the fastest time, cutting across the run-off area at the second part of the corner after a mistake on the way in.

Drivers started the session on the intermediates after overnight rain in Mexico City left the circuit damp in places.

Conditions were tricky due to the combination of a wet track and freshly laid asphalt, with Sebastian Vettel reporting it was "ridiculously slippery".

Valtteri Bottas set the early pace for Williams, clocking a 1m31.868s, before the field started to make the switch to the medium tyres after half an hour.

Despite the track drying out, the circuit remained tricky - with several drivers running off, particularly at Turns 8 and 10.

Nico Rosberg moved into first place, but then skated off track at the entrance to the stadium with smoke pouring from the rear wheels and flames around his brakes.

The German recovered to the pits, where Mercedes worked on a fix to aid cooling and got him out for the final minutes of the session.

The Mexico City track is located 2220 metres above sea level, which means the air is thinner and in turn puts pressure on brake and engine cooling.

Rosberg was eventually demoted to sixth, behind Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, and ahead of Bottas and Carlos Sainz Jr.

Driving on home soil, Sergio Perez drew huge cheers from a decent crowd on Friday and finished ninth, with Felipe Massa completing the top 10.

Newly-crowned world champion Lewis Hamilton clocked up 27 laps, 10 fewer than Sainz who completed the most, but set his best time early in the session. That left him 11th.

Jolyon Palmer, who will contest all the remaining Friday morning practice sessions this season ahead of his race debut with Lotus next year, was 15th, two tenths slower than team-mate Pastor Maldonado.

Jenson Button completed just nine laps before parking his McLaren in the garage so the team could complete a scheduled engine change, his second of the weekend and one that will cause him to take a 50-place grid penalty.

PRACTICE ONE TIMES:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1m25.990s - 38
2 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m26.295s 0.305s 27
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m26.295s 0.305s 36
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m26.886s 0.896s 31
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m27.185s 1.195s 28
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m27.196s 1.206s 19
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m27.303s 1.313s 26
8 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Renault 1m27.410s 1.420s 37
9 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m27.581s 1.591s 19
10 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m27.695s 1.705s 24
11 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m27.723s 1.733s 27
12 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m28.498s 2.508s 27
13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1m28.559s 2.569s 30
14 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m28.579s 2.589s 25
15 Jolyon Palmer Lotus/Mercedes 1m28.711s 2.721s 24
16 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m29.099s 3.109s 17
17 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m30.072s 4.082s 17
18 Alexander Rossi Marussia/Ferrari 1m30.619s 4.629s 23
19 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m32.091s 6.101s 9
20 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 1m32.866s 6.876s 11


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