F1 Mexico: Verstappen Fastest in Final Practice, Hamilton Not Far Behind


Credit: Clive Mason / Getty Images

Max Verstappen was quickest in the final free practice session for the Mexican Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton less than a tenth behind.

The top three times were from three different teams, with Sebastian Vettel in his Scuderia Ferrari machine 0.117s behind the fast time set by Verstappen. All three drivers have one a race this season.

Hamilton’s Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team team-mate Valtteri Bottas was fourth fastest and within one-tenth of Hamilton and two-tenths of Verstappen.

The final practice session of the weekend went by without many incidents on track, except for Pierre Gasly. The Scuderia Toro Rosso driver had a puff of smoke come out of his car on the back stretch in the opening two laps, and he had to stop in the stadium section of the track. The Frenchman didn’t take part in the first practice session and also ran into issues on Friday afternoon.

His team-mate Brendon Hartley was able to get 23 laps under his belt and finished eleventh, just under 1.5s off the fastest lap. He was able to be ahead of the two Williams Martini Racing drivers, who were twelfth and thirteenth when time concluded.

Verstappen’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was able to get up to fifth position, although he was only able to complete ten laps across the full sixty minutes. Kimi Raikkonen fared better with 27 laps under his belt, the most out of everyone in the session, although he was off the pace compared to his team-mate Vettel.

The two Sahara Force India F1 Team drivers continued to do well, with Sergio Perez just faster than Esteban Ocon in seventh. They were narrowly ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Nico Hulkenberg for Renault Sport Formula 1 Team, who rounded off the top ten for the session.

Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne were only able to finish sixteenth and nineteenth respectively, with the two team-mates so far racking up a combined grid penalty total of fifty-five places.