Mexican GP practice: Lewis Hamilton fastest ahead of Ferraris

Lewis Hamilton set the pace in the first practice session ahead of Formula 1's Mexican Grand Prix

Mexican GP practice: Lewis Hamilton fastest ahead of Ferraris

After setting the pace early on with a lap of 1m21.936s, last weekend's US Grand Prix winner continued to steadily improve around the dusty, cold and low-grip F1 track, located in the heart of Mexico City.

The reigning champion eventually put together a 1m20.914s on the medium-compound tyre, a time 0.169s quicker than the best across all of the free practice sessions a year ago, on F1's return to Mexico.

Hamilton was not quickest in any of the three sectors, however, as Sebastian Vettel in his Ferrari was fastest in the first and second, with home hero Sergio Perez the best in the final part of the track.

Vettel's leading sector times came on different laps, though, resulting in him finishing second to Hamilton by 0.079s on a soft-tyre run.

After sitting out the early part of the session, Kimi Raikkonen was third quickest on softs, finishing 0.158s adrift, with Perez's super-soft-shod Force India fourth and almost three tenths of a second down on the Ferrari.

The second Force India of Nico Hulkenberg was fifth on super-softs, ahead of Williams's Valtteri Bottas, on soft tyres. Both were around half a second off the pace.

Championship leader Nico Rosberg found himself down in seventh in the other Mercedes, 0.759s off the pace using medium tyres.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Williams driver Felipe Massa were the only other two to lap within a second of Hamilton, in eighth and ninth, with Daniil Kvyat completing the top 10 for Toro Rosso, but 1.3s back.

Ricciardo's team-mate Max Verstappen was only 14th, with his session cut short by a brake fire when he returned to the pits just past the midway point.

The session was also red-flagged 32 minutes in, when the front wing of Felipe Nasr's Sauber exploded, showering the track with carbon fibre shards.

Nasr had run wide across the exit kerb coming out of the esses section of the circuit, which dislodged the wing before parts of it then broke.

The Brazilian was able to return to the track late on, elevating himself to 17th on the timesheet, just over two seconds back.

FP1 TIMES

Pos Driver Car Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m20.914s 34
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.079s 23
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 0.158s 19
4 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 0.286s 23
5 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 0.495s 23
6 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 0.533s 34
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 0.759s 32
8 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 0.813s 27
9 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 0.922s 31
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1.301s 29
11 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1.586s 21
12 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1.649s 32
13 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1.809s 17
14 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1.963s 10
15 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1.996s 23
16 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 2.175s 25
17 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 2.175s 12
18 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 2.428s 24
19 Kevin Magnussen Renault 2.642s 32
20 Esteban Ocon Manor/Mercedes 3.169s 30
21 Jolyon Palmer Renault 3.183s 35
22 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 3.436s 28


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Mexican GP practice: Vettel faster than Hamilton by 0.004s in FP2

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