Max Verstappen Tops Friday Practice At 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix

(Image credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen topped Friday Practice for 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.

Mercedes topped FP1 with an one-two finish as Valtteri Bottas headed Lewis Hamilton but the pair were demoted a place in FP2 as Verstappen set the pace with a dominant afternoon session.

Sergio Perez finished fourth fastest in both sessions despite enduring a spin in FP1 whilst AlphaTauri had both cars in the top 11 throughout both sessions meaning that alongside Red Bull, all four Honda powered cars look well placed heading into Saturday’s action.

Now here is a full roundup of Friday Practice for 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix.

 

FP1

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Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen was first out on a dusty track with Charles Leclerc reporting “too much dust” as Bottas set the initial pace on 1m 20.459, having found 0.868 seconds on his first flier just minutes before Leclerc and Sergio Perez went spinning on the exit of Turn 16.

Both drivers however were able to make it back to the pits under their own power despite a brief Virtual Safety Car (VSC) deployment to remove debris from that corner.

Once the VSC was withdrawn, Pierre Gasly went fastest on 1m 20.316 just before Verstappen and Hamilton twice traded fastest laps, with the Brit eventually winning out as Yuki Tsunoda went third quickest which stayed in that order at the halfway mark of the session.

Bottas however was the first driver to dip below the 79s mark with a 1m 18.834 which was soon beaten by Verstappen by 0.370s, until Bottas improved to a session topping 1m 18.341 with 17 minutes of the session left.

Hamilton meanwhile recovered from a hairy moment as he ran wide across the first chicane without rejoining via the safety bollards to finish second, just 0.076s off his Mercedes teammate as Verstappen settled for third ahead of Perez who finished fourth despite missing 26 minutes with damage.

Gasly finished fifth quickest ahead of Carlos Sainz, Fernando Alonso, Charles Leclerc, Esteban Ocon and Sebastian Vettel.

McLaren meanwhile endured a difficult FP1 as Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris finished 14th and 15th quickest respectively behind Tsunoda, Raikkonen and Stroll.

The three slowest drivers of Stroll, Nicholas Latifi and Nikita Mazepin all set their fastest times on the medium tyre compound.

Position Driver Team Time 
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m 18.341
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 0.076
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull + 0.123
4 Sergio Perez Red Bull + 0.269
5 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri + 0.644
6 Carlos Sainz Ferrari + 1.122
7 Fernando Alonso Alpine + 1.315
8 Charles Leclerc Ferrari + 1.326
9 Esteban Ocon Alpine + 1.418
10 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin + 1.517
11 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri + 1.670
12 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo + 1.685
13 Lance Stroll Aston Martin + 1.690
14 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren + 1.932
15 Lando Norris McLaren + 1.960
16 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo + 2.003
17 George Russell Williams + 2.176
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 3.239
19 Mick Schumacher Haas + 3.803
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas + 4.478

 

FP2

(Image credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Raikkonen was first driver out on track but traffic soon formed through Turns 13, 14, 15 and 16 with Verstappen quickly setting the pace on 1m 18.818 which he soon lowered by 0.612s as Hamilton struggled with traffic and his quickest lap in his opening stint was deleted due to double-waved yellow flags.

Verstappen soon afterwards lowered his benchmark to 1m 17.920 whilst down the order, Williams’ George Russell struggled with a gearbox issue which quickly curtailed his running with no lap time set in this session.

Ricciardo meanwhile experienced his own gearbox issues which cut his running with no qualifying simulation as he ended FP2 in 15th place.

Up front, Verstappen topped the Qualifying simulations with a session-topping time of 1m 17.301 as Bottas found himself 0.424s adrift with Hamilton, Perez and Sainz rounding out the top five ahead of Gasly, Leclerc and Tsunoda.

Vettel finished ninth despite experiencing a bizarre pit lane incident where he accidentally drove into McLaren’s pit-box instead of his Aston Martin pit-box, before humorously brushing his blunder off with sarcasm ahead of Fernando Alonso who rounded out the top ten.

Position Driver Team Time 
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m 17.301
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes + 0.424
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 0.509
4 Sergio Perez Red Bull + 0.570
5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari + 1.017
6 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri + 1.128
7 Charles Leclerc Ferrari + 1.304
8 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri + 1.343
9 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin + 1.380
10 Fernando Alonso Alpine + 1.431
11 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo + 1.540
12 Lando Norris McLaren + 1.678
13 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo + 1.926
14 Esteban Ocon Alpine + 2.130
15 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren + 2.220
16 Mick Schumacher Haas + 2.319
17 Lance Stroll Aston Martin + 2.429
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 3.519
19 Nikita Mazepin Haas + 4.280
20 George Russell Williams No Time Set

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