Hamilton finishes on top ahead of Ferrari in Mexico FP1

Lewis Hamilton - Credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Lewis Hamilton finished Free Practice 1 on top of the time sheets for Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team in the Mexican Grand Prix.

The Briton set a fastest lap time of 1:20.914, and he looked strong throughout the whole session and was able to maintain this position until the chequered flag. Despite Scuderia Ferrari and Sahara Force India Formula 1 Team looking strong with their pace, it just wasn’t enough to beat Hamilton. Both Ferrari drivers were very strong in this session with Sebastian Vettel ahead of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen by 0.079 seconds.

Force India looked to finish the session in second and third but with a massive improvement from Ferrari, they were left to finish in fourth and fifth, with Sergio Perez ahead of team-mate Nico Hulkenberg by 0.209 seconds. Valtteri Bottas finished the session in sixth for Williams Martini Racing with a time of 1:21.447 behind him was the second Mercedes of Nico Rosberg.

Unlike Hamilton, Rosberg was unable to fight for a position at the head of the field. Earlier in the session he was running in second but with Force India and Ferrari improving their pace, he just didn’t maintain this position, and failed to improve his lap time to finish ahead of his rivals, finishing with a time of 1:21.673, 0.759 seconds behind pace setter Hamilton.

Daniel Ricciardo finished the session in eighth, a session where he is normally strong in. Behind him was the second Williams of Felipe Massa with a time of 1:21.836.

Daniil Kvyat had a relatively good session, with 32 minutes remaining he jumped up the grid to third, but was unable to maintain this position, dropping a total of seven positions to tenth, finishing ahead of Romain Grosjean. The Haas F1 Team driver split the two Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers with his time of 1:22,500. With Carlos Sainz Jr closely behind by 0.063 seconds.

Marcus Ericsson had a good session for Sauber F1 Team after he finished in thirteenth, ahead of the second Red Bull Racing driver of Max Verstappen, who suffered a shortened session due to a fire.

When Verstappen came into the pits to change his tires, a fire broke out on the brake drums, leading to engineers using fire extinguisher to put it out. Once he was moved into the garage the engineers were able to expect the damage, with charring of the drums the result of the fire.  This marked the end of the Dutchman’s session to allow the engineers to expect the damage further and find the fault behind. Before the incident, he was sixth but finished the session in an disappointing fourteenth.

Esteban Gutierrez finished the session with a time of 1:22.910 for Haas. Which saw him finish the session ahead of Fernando Alonso, McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team struggled in this first practice session, the Spaniard finished with a time of 1:23.089.

Felipe Nasr had an interesting session after his front right wing exploded, and the reason behind the failure is yet unclear. He was travelling on the kerb and once he went back on track his wing disintegrated, causing a Red Flag to clear the carbon fibre debris on track. It took marshals with brooms and leaf blowers to clear the track, and after nearly ten minutes, the session returned to Green Flag running, but with Nasr still in the pits while his engineers sought to find the case of the failure.

The Brazilian was able to return to the track with five minutes remaining, he finished the session in seventeenth splitting the two McLaren drivers. Like his team-mate Jenson Button had a tough session with him finishing in eighteenth, ahead of former McLaren team-mate Kevin Magnussen. Magnussen finished the session with a time of 1:23.556 which saw him finish ahead of the first Manor Racing MRT of Esteban Ocon.

Jolyon Palmer was unable to finish the session ahead of his Renault Sport Formula 1 Team team-mate, having to settle for ahead of Pascal Wehrlein in twenty-second. A total of four different drivers ran the Halo device at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, these were Wehrlein, Magnussen, Perez and Nasr.

Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez Free Practice 1 Result

144Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes1:20.91434
25Sebastian VettelGERFerrari1:20.99323
37Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari1:21.07219
411Sergio PerezMEXForce India-Mercedes1:21.20023
527Nico HulkenbergGERForce India-Mercedes1:21.409 23
677Valtteri BottasFINWilliams-Mercedes1:21.447 34
76Nico RosbergGERMercedes1:21.67332
83Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull-Tag Heuer1:21.72727
919Felipe MassaBRZWilliams-Mercedes1:21.836 31
1026Daniil KvyatRUSToro Rosso-Renault1:22.215 29
118Romain GrosjeanFRAHaas-Ferrari1:22.50021
1255Carlos Sainz JrESPToro Rosso-Renault1:22.56332
139Marcus EricssonSWESauber-Ferrari1:22.723 17
1433Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull-Tag Heuer1:22.877 10
1521Esteban GutierrezMEXHaas-Ferrari1:22.91023
1614Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren-Honda1:23.089 25
1712Felipe NasrBRZSauber-Ferrari1:23.08912
1822Jenson ButtonGBRMcLaren-Honda1:23.342 24
1920Kevin MagnussenDNKRenault1:23.556 32
2031Esteban OconFRAManor-Mercedes1:24.083 30
2130Jolyon PalmerGBRRenault1:24.097 35
2294Pascal WehrleinGERManor-Mercedes1:24.350 28