Mexican Grand Prix practice: Max Verstappen leads Red Bull one-two

Max Verstappen set the fastest time in opening practice for Formula 1's Mexican Grand Prix as Red Bull headed Renault on Friday morning

Mexican Grand Prix practice: Max Verstappen leads Red Bull one-two

Verstappen led a Red Bull one-two, with Renault drivers Carlos Sainz Jr and Nico Hulkenberg next-fastest.

Mercedes and Ferrari were outpaced by the four Renault-engined cars, but opted not to use an extra set of hypersofts in the opening session.

The usual frontrunning teams occupied fifth through eighth, headed by F1 points leader Lewis Hamilton, as they set their fastest times on ultrasofts.

Ferrari duo Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were the session's early pacesetters with inaugural runs on hypersofts, the fastest of Pirelli's 2018 compounds.

Sainz and Racing Point Force India driver Sergio Perez each moved to the top of the times with their own laps on the hypersofts before Red Bull took a stranglehold on the session.

Verstappen jumped to first place on a 1m18.588s, with Ricciardo lapping just over a tenth slower.

Hamilton put Mercedes on top with his best hypersoft lap, three tenths quicker than Verstappen, but after the usual mid-session lull the Red Bulls returned for another hit of the hypersofts and went even faster.

Ricciardo snuck below the 1m18s barrier on a 1m17.932s and then a 1m17.738s before Verstappen went over a second faster.

He pumped in a 1m16.596s that, even with a further improvement from Ricciardo, left him almost half a second clear at the top of the times.

Sainz claimed third on a 1m17.926s, sneaking ahead of team-mate Hulkenberg on his second run by a tenth - although Sainz was called in before the end of the session with an apparent issue.

Hamilton wound up on a 1m18.075s in fifth after improving on ultrasofts, which left him three tenths clear of Bottas and seven tenths clear of title rival Vettel.

Raikkonen was eighth, having eventually improved on the ultras despite spinning on his first flying lap of the run.

Brendon Hartley survived "bubblegum" tyres and a block from Sauber's stand-in Friday morning driver Antonio Giovinazzi to finish the session ninth-fastest with Toro Rosso's upgraded front wing and floor.

Nicholas Latifi completed the top 10 on his practice one outing for Force India, using hypersofts to outpace ultrasoft-shod team-mate Sergio Perez by a tenth.

Giovinazzi was 13th fastest and quicker than Sauber regular Marcus Ericsson, while at McLaren Lando Norris (15th) also outpaced usual driver Stoffel Vandoorne.

Pierre Gasly ended the session with no time and two laps to his name after completing installation laps with another new version of Honda's upgraded engine.

He will revert to a previous-spec for the afternoon having sacrificed first practice to add the new engine to his pool of available units for the final two weekends of the season.

FP1 times

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m16.656s - 19
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m17.139s 0.483s 19
3 Carlos Sainz Jr. Renault 1m17.926s 1.270s 20
4 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m18.028s 1.372s 21
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m18.075s 1.419s 23
6 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m18.322s 1.666s 27
7 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m18.746s 2.090s 17
8 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m18.936s 2.280s 22
9 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m19.024s 2.368s 29
10 Nicholas Latifi Force India/Mercedes 1m19.078s 2.422s 23
11 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m19.124s 2.468s 29
12 Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber/Ferrari 1m19.134s 2.478s 25
13 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m19.276s 2.620s 26
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m19.312s 2.656s 28
15 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1m19.646s 2.990s 23
16 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m19.716s 3.060s 29
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m19.853s 3.197s 28
18 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m19.899s 3.243s 30
19 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m20.142s 3.486s 26
20 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda - - 2

shares
comments
Honda reverts to old-spec engine in Mexico, Gasly gets grid penalty

Previous article

Honda reverts to old-spec engine in Mexico, Gasly gets grid penalty

Next article

Toro Rosso insists no 2019 F1 line-up decision before December

Toro Rosso insists no 2019 F1 line-up decision before December
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Max Verstappen
Teams Red Bull Racing
Author Scott Mitchell
Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash Plus

Why Russell was right to be wrong about Bottas after Imola F1 clash

George Russell and Valtteri Bottas' collision at Imola on Sunday prompted fury in the Formula 1 paddock. But Russell's carefully-worded heartfelt statement later, acknowledging that his initial response was wrong, proved the right move

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight Plus

How Verstappen and Hamilton’s Imola clash sets the tone for F1’s 2021 title fight

In Max Verstappen's Formula 1 career to date, he has been cast as the 'pretender', an acknowledged top-line performer without the car to regularly challenge Lewis Hamilton. But that no longer applies in 2021, and the start to the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix was the most telling signal yet of what we can expect from their duel this year

Formula 1
Apr 21, 2021
How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Plus

How “overwhelming” McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari Plus

The German legend who raced and beat Nuvolari

Ninety years ago, Rudolf Caracciola became the first non-Italian to win the epic Mille Miglia. We look at how he stacks up to the most famous pre-war ace Tazio Nuvolari, one of the drivers he beat on that day in 1931

Formula 1
Apr 20, 2021
How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Plus

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Plus

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Plus

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021