Mexico, FP2: Verstappen continues to set the pace

Despite late stoppage for him


By Olivier Ferret

26 October 2018 - 22:35
Mexico, FP2: Verstappen continues (...)

After topping the morning timesheets at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez, Red Bull Racing again scored a 1-2 in the second practice session for the Mexican Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen outpacing team-mate Daniel Ricciardo by 1500ths of a second. The Dutchman stopped at the edge of the track late in the session, however, with an apparent engine issue.

In the morning session the Red Bull duo were comfortably clear of the rest of the field, though Mercedes and Ferrari minimised hypersoft running in FP1, but in the qualifying runs of the second session both Verstappen and Ricciardo finished over a second clear of their chief rivals, Mercedes and Ferrari, with Sebastian Vettel leading the way for the Scuderia with a fourth-placed time of 1:17.954. That left him 0.001s behind third-placed Carlos Sainz of Renault, but 1.234s of the pace set by Verstappen.

Both Red Bull drivers were quick early in the session, on ultrasoft tyres, and when Vettel became the first to try a qualifying simulation on hypersofts he only managed to post a time good enough for P2 behind Verstappen.

The Red Bulls then bolted on hypersofts for their performance runs and upped the pace considerably.

Verstappen posted a lap of 1:16.720 that put him ahead of the impressive Sainz, and then Ricciardo found enough pace to slot into P2 with a time 0.153s behind the Dutchman.

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Verstappen, however, and towards the end of the session he coasted off track at Turn 3 and pulled over close to an escape road when his engine cut out.

Vettel’s qualifying simulation left him just one hundredth of a second ahead of Nico Hulkenberg in the second, while sixth place was taken by Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley.

Mercedes, meanwhile, had a muted session, with Lewis Hamilton the quicker of its driver pairing. The championship leader ended the session with a best time of 1:18.100, almost 1.4s adrift of Verstappen. Team-mate Valtteri Bottas finished in P9 behind the second Ferrari of US Grand Prix winner Kimi Räikkönen. Tenth place in the session went to Sergio Pérez of Racing Point Force India.

01 Max Verstappen Red Bull Tag Heuer 1:16.720 21
02 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Tag Heuer 1:16.873 32
03 Carlos Sainz Renault F1 1:17.953 35
04 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:17.954 42
05 Nico Hulkenberg Renault F1 1:18.046 36
06 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso Honda 1:18.061 35
07 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG 1:18.100 40
08 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:18.133 42
09 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG 1:18.140 40
10 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:18.167 24
11 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:18.485 24
12 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:18.733 39
13 Charles Leclerc Sauber Ferrari 1:19.024 39
14 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso Honda 1:19.047 36
15 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Renault 1:19.096 30
16 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:19.219 25
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:19.322 41
18 Sergey Sirotkin Williams Mercedes 1:19.335 37
19 Fernando Alonso McLaren Renault 1:19.543 31
20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:19.970 35

Red Bull

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