Mexican Grand Prix – Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc led teammate Sebastian Vettel in final practice in Mexico, in a quiet session due to damp conditions.
Third practice at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City proved to be a largely pointless exercise, as overnight rain meant the opening half hour of track time saw virtually no drivers venturing out. While a few pottered around in the Intermediates to get their eye in, all the action in the session came in the final twenty minutes.
Kimi Raikkonen was the first driver to dare to try out dry tyres with just under twenty minutes to go, setting off a flurry of action as the laptimes plummeted.
Mercedes were consistently close to the top of the timing screens after intially putting in dry tyre times on the Medium compound, but it was the Red Bulls and McLarens who occupied the top four positions in the closing minutes. However, Valtteri Bottas then put in a 1:16.259 to go quickest ahead of Lewis Hamilton but, on their final flying laps, Ferrari turned up.
Sebastian Vettel did a 1:16.172 on the Soft tyres, moments before Charles Leclerc crossed the line in 1:16.145 to snatch top spot ahead of Vettel. Bottas finished practice in P3, with Lewis Hamilton down in P4.
Carlos Sainz finished P5 for McLaren, while Max Verstappen took P6 for Red Bull Racing. Pierre Gasly, who sat in team hospitality for the first forty minutes of the session as he struggled with a stomach virus, came out and finished P7, with Alex Albon in P8 in the second Red Bull. Lando Norris finished P9 for McLaren, while Sergio Perez rounded out the top ten with P10 for Racing Point.
There were a couple of technical issues during the session, as Vettel’s engine needed some close examination by Ferrari as he had a reported sensor issue. This appeared to be easily fixed, as he came back out to set his fastest time after that.
Neither Renault driver set a time in the practice session, as they both encountered a ‘pollution of the cooling system’. They said it required careful cleaning before qualifying, and neither driver was thus able to take proper part in FP3.