It was a day of contrasting fortunes for Dutch teenager Max Verstappen, who ended the first Mexican Grand Prix practice with the quickest time only to crash early in the second session before being able to a lap time on the board.
The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver lost control on the entry of the final corner and hit the outside barrier, ending his session and causing a red flag period within five minutes of the second session beginning, with Verstappen admitting responsibility for the incident after misjudging the grip levels.
The Dutchman had earlier controversially set the pace in FP1 despite appearing to set his quickest time after cutting a corner in the Esses section after running wide, but is now looking to utilise team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr’s data to get a better understanding of how the Toro Rosso is working around the Mexican circuit.
“It was a new experience for everyone today, as this is the first time we drive here, so at the start the conditions were quite tricky, but I think we built it up in a good way and had a very good FP1,” said Verstappen.
“To end the session in P1 is nice of course, and it means that the car is working well and I enjoy driving here.
“Unfortunately, during my first push-lap in FP2 I suddenly lost the rear and crashed in the last corner – I think it’s maybe just a combination of cold tyres and the track still being a bit damp. I think I overestimated the grip… It’s a bit of a shame that there isn’t more of a run-off at that corner!
“Tonight we have time to focus on all the data from Carlos’ FP2 to prepare ourselves for tomorrow.”