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

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