Mexican GP practice: Max Verstappen fastest for Red Bull in FP3

Max Verstappen set the pace in final practice for the Mexican Grand Prix, in a session where several Formula 1 qualifying simulation runs were affected by traffic

In a tricky final 15 minutes at the Mexico City track when finding a clear lap was at a premium, Verstappen managed to find enough space to post a time of 1m19.127s.

As at the end of Friday practice, Lewis Hamilton had to settle for second quickest, finishing 0.094s adrift of the Dutchman after being 0.004s down on Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in FP2.

Verstappen's team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was a quarter of a second back in third, managing to improve over the closing stages on two occasions.

Ricciardo initially posted a time of 1m19.444s, on a lap that included passing a slow Carlos Sainz Jr and Kevin Magnussen in the stadium section.

Ricciardo then shaved almost a tenth of a second off on his next quick lap before finally concluding with a 1m19.370s.

Championship leader Rosberg had to settle for the fourth quickest time, just under half a second down on Verstappen.

Traffic was a major concern for Rosberg, both during the early part of the session when the soft tyre was key, and again when he bolted on the super-softs.

Williams driver Valtteri Bottas managed to get ahead of Ferrari pair Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, the latter running wide on entry to the stadium complex on one of his late hot laps.

Felipe Massa was the only other driver to finish within a second of Verstappen in his Williams, with Nico Hulkenberg and Sainz completing the top 10.

As on Friday the temperatures were again on the cool side, with air hitting a maximum of 14C and track only 29C during the opening half hour, with the latter rising to 32C during the final 15 minutes.

Prior to the late qualifying simulations, Hamilton led the way on the soft tyre with a lap of 1m19.721s, with Ricciardo, Verstappen and Vettel all between the Mercedes driver and Rosberg.


Pos Driver Car Gap Laps
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m19.137s 16
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 0.094s 23
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 0.233s 17
4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 0.481s 27
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 0.674s 19
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.800s 16
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 0.857s 16
8 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 0.860s 22
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1.118s 21
10 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1.188s 22
11 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1.335s 20
12 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1.449s 20
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1.463s 18
14 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1.822s 18
15 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 2.015s 19
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 2.108s 21
17 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 2.201s 16
18 Kevin Magnussen Renault 2.208s 17
19 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 2.464s 15
20 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 2.621s 23
21 Esteban Ocon Manor/Mercedes 2.784s 22
22 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 3.217s 18

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