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Ricciardo edges Hamilton and Verstappen – FP2 Report

Red Bull Racing increase the pace in Mexico

Mexican Grand Prix – Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo lead championship leader Lewis Hamilton and team-mate Max Verstappen at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.

In tricky, low-grip conditions in the Mexican capital, the top six drivers were separated by less than half-a-second as teams upped the pace.

In the flurry of qualifying simulations, it was Ricciardo who emerged as the fastest driver with a 1:17.801, marginally faster than Hamilton’s early effort in free practice one.

Hamilton and Verstappen set lap times less than two tenths of a second behind the Australian.

Unfortunately for the Dutchman, an issue with the power unit cut short his session. However, the team confirmed that he was running a Friday power unit.

Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth and fifth for Ferrari, in front of the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.

Interestingly, both Mercedes drivers were able to set faster lap times on their second flying laps, with both Hamilton and Bottas gaining a couple of tenths on their second attempt.

It was a stop-start session for several drivers; Vettel was involved in a bizarre incident where his fire extinguisher activated in his car, whilst Hamilton was one of many spinners, making a mistake at turn eleven and ruining a set of super soft tyres.

Fernando Alonso was an impressive seventh for McLaren, with Sergio Perez (Force India), Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) and Esteban Ocon (Force India) completing the top ten.

As well as missing free practice one to give Sean Gelael some seat time, Pierre Gasly’s practice session was cut short by a power unit issue.

An early red flag was caused by a spin for Romain Grosjean; the Haas driver lost control of his car under acceleration out of the final corner.

He kept the car out of the wall as he slid down the start-finish straight, but the Frenchman flat-spotted all four tyres.

A left-rear tyre delamination came into effect as he accelerated away, and the flailing rubber damaged his car and scattered body work around the track, resulting in the red flag and a clear-up operation.

To view the full results of the session, click here.

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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