Hamilton fastest in damp Free Practice 1 in Mexico City

by Tom Cairns
Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport in the 2019 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix - Suzuka International Racing Course - Race

Lewis Hamilton topped the timing pages in Free Practice 1 for this weekend’s Mexican Grand Prix.

With the track damp from overnight rain, the drivers began the session by doing their installation laps on intermediate tyres. As the track was drying, the times improved constantly with Valtteri Bottas the first of the top drivers to go fastest on a 1:21.887 on the mediums.

Hamilton inherited top spot with around twenty-five minutes gone in the session with a 1:19.463. The order after the first thirty-five minutes was Hamilton ahead of Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc, Sebastian Vettel, Bottas and Alexander Albon, with Lance Stroll the best of the rest in seventh.

The times remained relatively the same until Albon with over thirty minutes remaining in the session, set a new fastest time on the soft compound, posting a 1:17.949. Bottas had gone second and 0.134 seconds off the pace. That was just before Stroll crashed his SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team car into the barrier at Turn Sixteen.

The Canadian remarkably was able to bring his car back to the pits but the leftover debris and the need to move the barriers back into place meant the red flag came out for eleven minutes.

The session resumed with twenty-one minutes remaining, with Albon ahead of Bottas, Leclerc, Hamilton, Verstappen, Lando Norris, and Vettel in seventh. Stroll was eighth by this point as he remained in the garage for the next ten minutes before re-joining the circuit.

Hamilton jumped to first position again, setting a 1:17.327, six tenths in front of Albon with seventeen minutes to go. Verstappen leapt up to second a couple of minutes later and over a tenth behind the Brit before Leclerc improved to move ahead of the Red Bull Racing pilot, setting his time on the mediums.

Alexander Albon ended the session in fourth ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel. Carlos Sainz Jr. was the best for the McLaren F1 Team in seventh and just over a second off the pace.

2019 Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix - Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez: Free Practice 1 Classification

144Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport1:17.327
216Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari+0.119
333Max VerstappenNEDAston Martin Red Bull Racing+0.134
423Alexander AlbonTHAAston Martin Red Bull Racing+0.622
577Valtteri BottasFINMercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport+0.678
65Sebastian VettelGERScuderia Ferrari+0.891
755Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPMcLaren F1 Team+1.074
810Pierre GaslyFRARed Bull Toro Rosso Honda+1.266
926Daniil KvyatRUSRed Bull Toro Rosso Honda+1.508
1099Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing+1.632
1127Nico HülkenbergGERRenault F1 Team+1.684
1220Kevin MagnussenDENHaas F1 Team+1.686
137Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing+1.878
144Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team+1.972
153Daniel RicciardoAUSRenault F1 Team+2.172
1618Lance StrollCANSportPesa Racing Point F1 Team+2.352
1711Sergio PérezMEXSportPesa Racing Point F1 Team+2.390
188Romain GrosjeanFRAHaas F1 Team+2.523
1963George RussellGBRROKiT Williams Racing+3.221
2040Nicholas LatifiCANROKiT Williams Racing+4.239

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